Six by Nico, the pioneering restaurant group renowned for its ever-evolving menu concept, opened their new Leeds restaurant earlier this month. With over 5,000 bookings already, it’s safe to say the latest addition to Leeds’ restaurant scene has piqued the interest of foodies across Yorkshire, mine included.
The new restaurant is located within a Grade II listed building, at 9 East Parade, and can seat up to 72 guests. Founded by chef Nico Simeone, Six by Nico offers diners a delicious and affordable six-course tasting menu, with the added bonus of delicious wine pairings to match. As you enter the restaurant diners are met by a small cocktail bar where a pre-dinner drink can be enjoyed. A few short steps lead up to the main restaurant containing the open kitchen and seating area. Due to the small area tables are pushed quite close together, however, at no one point did it feel obstructive.
The tasting menu rotates every six weeks, each inspired by a different theme, destination or concept to keep customers on their toes and the offering fresh and exciting all year round.
The inaugural menu at the Leeds restaurant is Six by Nico’s iconic menu: The Chippie. This is a fun – and unexpected – twist on chip shop classics, with courses such as chips & cheese, scampi, steak pie, fish supper, smoked sausage, and deep-fried Mars bar.
Nico, born in Glasgow to Italian parents, gives the impression that The Chippie tasting menu may have been influenced by the Scottish fish suppers that are served in the fish and chip shops north of the border – of which I have sampled many!
To start off, diners are offered a black pudding scotch egg served with piccalilli and rapeseed emulsion. This was a good starter, although the black pudding was rather bland to my taste buds. An alternative option might have been a scotch egg served with a spicy haggis – now that is definitely food for thought!
Course after course
Course one – chips and cheese was basically a parmesan espuma curry oil and emulsion served with crisp potato terrine. As with the black pudding, the cheese had a very mild flavour, perhaps they have decided to go down the middle of the road in their choice of cheese?
Things started to look up with the following course, however. This was scampi, served with brandade, dill emulsion, gribiche, spring peas and beurre blanc with all tastes deliciously complementing the others.
The third course of steak pie is served with a mushroom on the side. I had warned the restaurant in advance of my lack of fondness for mushrooms though my warning apparently hadn’t been communicated to the chef. However, the pie was filled with a very succulent 24-hour beef shin, burnt onion ketchup and meaty salsa.
Course four, the fish supper, was a mix of breaded scrabster coley, pickled mussels, confit fennel, samphire and beer emulsion. It all sounds rather grand but it just tasted all very frutas del mar to me and I could not pick put one individual taste.
The fifth and final savoury course of smoked sausage comes to your table covered up; as the lid is taken off steam comes piping out, giving you the perfect Instagram moment. The trio of pork, apple, crispy crackling, salt baked celeriac and choucroute was one of my courses, and the richness of the pork was slightly sweet but also very savoury.
A Glasgow classic!
If you have never tried a deep fried Mars bar, the final sweet course might come as a big surprise. Add chocolate pave and Irn-Bru sorbet, close your eyes and you could be back in Glasgow! Actually the Mars bars came as a chocolate fried ball that was very gooey and moreish.
In the unlikely event that you’re still hungry, you can opt to add on themed snacks at £7.50 per person, and an aperitif at £8.50 per person for the ultimate tasting experience
The serving staff we met were knowledgeable about each course with a friendly, efficient style that complimented the fine food. On the downside, some of the tables are quite close to each other which might not appeal to everyone, and it can be quite noisy too.
The six-course tasting menu is priced at £39 per person, with the option to enjoy an expertly selected wine pairing for an additional £30.
Sated and impressed
Six by Nico accommodates all dietary needs by offering a full vegetarian alternative for each new menu concept. Customers can even switch courses from the meat menu to the vegetarian one if they prefer. Other diets and allergens can also be accommodated upon request, ensuring that no one is left out.
We left the restaurant feeling sated and impressed, having enjoyed the experience immensely. Hopefully you too will be knocked for six, should you decide to visit this excellent addition to the Leeds dining scene.