Six by Nico

Six by Nico has taken Edinburgh by storm in recent weeks. There have been practically endless reports on the their chippy menu, and while reviews have been generally very positive, I didn’t feel compelled to visit while they were still bedding-in.

Amuse

In my own sweet way, I often find it a good approach to review places ‘one branch behind’ as they expand. For example, I reviewed The Pantry Colinton on the day Finn & Bear launched.

It will therefore come as little surprise to read that this review of Six by Nico is of their Glasgow branch.

I had originally booked to visit both the Glasgow and Edinburgh places in the same week but their harmonisation on the Wonka menu – which launched this week – made this seem like a silly idea, so I pulled my reservation ahead a couple of weeks to catch the last few days of their Vietnamese street food.

Prawn pho

With seating for around 30 in their main dining space and a further table with a view of the kitchen activity, the Finnieston premises are light and airy with floor to ceiling windows. It’s a similar pattern to neighbour Alchemilla and like that feels very smart.

Service is another strength with a well-drilled battalion keen to keep you informed and slick enough to make sure a good pace is maintained throughout the many courses and many drinks.

Duck

The concept of Six by Nico is six courses for £28 plus an optional drinks pairing at £25, which I went for. The approach is somewhat analogous to Edinburgh’s Aizle but at quite a different price-point.

I opted to add one of the snacks to start with their take on a traditional Vietnamese banh mi. This was slow cooked beef atop a slice of baguette. It was a decent opener.

Bream

Bream

The first course amuse bouche was a rather more delicate spring roll with crayfish and crab. It was very pleasant.

The drinks pairings kicked in with course number two which matched a traditional pho with Leith Juice from Campervan brewery. The pho was lightly aromatic with the topping prawns suitably juicy.

The beer, which I enjoy very much on its own, was a rather aggressively bitter palette cleanser rather than a good complement. This marked the start of paired drinks combos that simply didn’t work for me. I think this aspect of their offering needs fresh attention.

Pork belly

Next up we had confit duck with rice porridge, pickled mooli and peanuts. It was a smart and pleasing dish.

The crisp skin on the sea bream to follow marked out some skilled cooking. The squid rings were good, too.

The pork belly was again very well cooked and worked beautifully with the charred pineapple. It was further illustration of just how wrong-headed people who hate Hawaiian pizzas truly are.

Vietnamese coffee dessert

Vietnamese coffee dessert

The dessert was a richly sweet deconstruction of Vietnamese coffee. I’m not sure the condensed milk worked terribly well texturally as a panna cotta but the coffee cake at the heart of things brought restorative balance.

So overall, Six by Nico showcased some very good cooking. I enjoyed what I ate. I’m booked for their Wonka experience in Edinburgh, so I will join the torrent of column inches that will no doubt pour forth, in the same way as praise for the chippy experience did. It will be interesting to see how ambience and service matches up as the Glasgow experience felt very settled and accomplished. I look forward to finding out.

Scores
Blythe scores Six by Nico
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 15.5/20

I ate: Vietnamese street food menu

I drank: drinks “pairings”, water

I wore: electric chinos

Total bill: £57

Address: 1132 Argyle Street, Finnieston, Glasgow G3 8TD

Written by BKR