Six By Nico Manchester, 60 Spring Gardens, Manchester, M2 2BQ – Visit Now
We’ve said it countless times but it’s worth repeating: Six By Nico is one of Manchester’s true gems. A six-course tasting menu in elegant surroundings, at a pocket-friendly price – what’s not to love?
Six By Nico is one of Manchester’s true gems
Over the past few months, they’ve treated hungry Mancunians to a revolving series of wonderful themed meals, starting out with the ‘chippie’ (much more impressive than it sounds), going through a Mad Hatter’s tea party, Thai street food, and a whole host more. And now we’ve come to the best so far – the best of 2019, featuring courses from the revolving menus, as voted for by the public.
Unsurprisingly, it’s superb. We begin with the bombas, a deep-fried ham fritter, perched atop a neat square of tomato compote, with a cute blob of aioli on top. It’s a relatively simple morsel, guzzled in a single bite, but utterly divine.
Next up, the butternut squash spring roll, from the Thai-themed menu. A sharply-sliced spring roll, packed with pickled shimji mushroom, on a bed of warm, decadent Thai green sauce, with a few delicate sections of charred sweetcorn. It looks beautiful, and tastes even better – an inspired combination of light, satisfying flavours, exactly what you’d expect from one of the UK’s most inventive chefs.
Third course is the classic steak pie, from the chippie menu. Here things take a turn for the earthy, all dark meaty aromas and rich, deep flavours from the beef shin, red wine, mushroom duxelle and burnt onion ketchup. It takes some skill to turn these heavy ingredients into something that impresses but never overwhelms. Nico’s menus are expertly tailored to deliver neat twists at every course, and this is a perfect example.
After meat, fish. Here we get a perfectly cooked piece of sea bass – all delicate white flakes and a crackable crispy skin – plus peperonata (a mixture of cooked peppers and onions), aubergine caviar and finished off with a green olive salsa verde. It’s a light, gentle course that cleans the palate.
And then, the standout dish from a standout menu, the Penang chicken. I practically inhale this course, to the horror of my guest, but I regret nothing, this was simply too delicious not wolf down. The chicken is glorious, soft and tender, speckled with black and white sesame seeds, next to dollops of smooth sweet potato and papaya and peatnut salad, and a neon green coriander emulsion. The whole plate is bright and sweet and impossibly moreish. At most restaurants this would be a signature dish, for Nico it’s just one of many.
Finally, the deep-fried Mars bar, from – no prizes for guessing correctly – the chippie menu again. This time, it’s the turn of my sweet-toothed partner to guzzle it down within seconds. It’s plate of many textures and flavours, from crispy, crunchy cocoa nib to soft gooey orange sorbet and a slick smooth caramel chocolate mousse – not to mention that all-important deep-fried bon bon.
Nico can do no wrong. Six courses, all excellent, with one or two courses up there with the very best in Manchester. If you haven’t yet been, this greatest hits menu is the ultimate way into fine fining that won’t dent your bank account.