Glasgow’s Six by Nico restaurant has landed in Edinburgh and unveiled its first theme: The Chippie! The storytelling menus of Nico Simeone’s restaurant change every six weeks, and so far Glasgow has enjoyed menus such as Route 66, childhood favourites, New York and more.
On seeing the menu for the Hanover Street opening, I couldn’t resist booking a table this weekend. When I go to a chippy, I usually opt for a sausage supper and an Irn Bru, only recently having tried my first ever fish supper. Six by Nico’s six-course taster menu is much smaller in size and missing the rustle of the newspaper wrap, but it does take you on a whirlwind tour of what you’d find inside a seaside fish ‘n’ chip van. It is lacking the greasiness and vinegary twang of a real late night chippy however – which is just as well as it costs £28 per person to devour these tantalisingly small taster plates.
Inside, the restaurant has a smokey air – not hugely dissimilar to the aromatic puffs of smoke I’ve encountered in Panda and Sons (a speakeasy bar) and Dishoom (which is filled with incense). The source of this smokey puzzle was later revealed during our Smoked Sausage course.
The tables are close together, the walls dark and the kitchen in full sight. Seated by the door, the phone was ringing non-stop and went unanswered the whole time we were there. A part of me wondered if the restaurant would have a pop-up feel about it – with the decor reflecting the theme of the menu – but this wasn’t the case. It had a quickly finished, minimalistic vibe – a nice enough setting to enjoy our food.
We decided against the wine paring menu, but had we splashed out we could have enjoyed French and Italian wines, finishing with an Irn Bru and Butter Washed Fino Sherry night cap. To drink, we both ordered a Seaside Gin which was delicious. The courses get better as the menu progresses – for me, the best plates were saved for last!
Overall I enjoyed these unusual takes on chippy classics, but the personality of it all was missing for me. Everyone has their own chip shop routine: salt n sauce? It would have been fun to have some individuality about what we were eating – I would have liked my six-course chippy to have been ever so slightly different from Stacey’s. Given the fast pace of this restaurant, I don’t know how innovative they could get, but it would be interesting to find out.
Hanover Street is the perfect setting for this restaurant – the street is a mish-mash of shops, bars and restaurants, all very eclectic and different from their neighbours. It amuses me that it’s next door to Gari B’s – and I sincerely hope they make a Garbibaldi’s inspired menu one day.