Food review: Sicily at Six by Nico

The other night we tried Six by Nico’s Sicily menu! I saw that the first course was going to be three different types of arancini and just like that I was crazy desperate to get a table. Reading the rest of the menu just got me more and more excited and eager to get a taste, and after we tried last summer’s Thai street food menu, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.

As far as I know, Six by Nico is just about fully booked. When we decided to book a table, we realised that if we really wanted to go, we’d have to eat at either 4:30 or 9pm. This menu’s been running from the 7th of this month, and will continue until the 18th of October. If you want a table for the taste of Sicily, I recommend keeping a keen eye out for any and all cancellations.

We visited the Glasgow South Side location for the first time. Inside was far smaller than I expected, though this wasn’t a negative thing. Everything fits well and comfortably, and we felt safe considering that social distancing because of the pandemic is still in effect. All of the art on the walls was gorgeous, I loved the dark green and brown colour schemes and, just like the last time we visited the restaurant, the wait staff were warm and welcoming.

We started off with opting in for the snacks – which I didn’t manage to get a picture of because I was too excited to get stuck in. The plate consisted of some focaccia, bread sticks, a red pesto, two kinds of salami, cheese and olives. My partner previously listed himself as someone who doesn’t like olives, but the plump, torte olives served changed his mind. The focaccia was definitely my favourite part of this – it was tangy and soft and went so well with the pesto.

What got me excited for the menu was the arancini, and I was so excited and not at all let down when it came. It was a sharing starter, so we had three of the little rice balls each, each one in a different flavour. One had an egg yolk jam in it, another had red pepper and smoked mozzarella, and the last was spinach, gorgonzola and pickled walnut. I honestly can’t say which of these flavours are my favourite because they were all so delicious. I absolutely would have been happy to eat six courses of these arancinis. The gorgonzola and walnut one surprised me the most – I left it for last since I was the most apprehensive of it (I’d never had these three flavours all together) but it was unreal! Tangy, tasty, and unique. I was especially excited, though, for the egg yolk jam one because I’m a massive egg fan. Once again, my partner considers himself someone who doesn’t like eggs at all, but even he hoovered the egg yolk jam arancini up – and really enjoyed it. I had no doubts about not enjoying the red pepper ball, and wasn’t disappointed. We started with that one, and it was a perfect first taste of the menu.

red pepper | egg yolk jam | gorgonzola, spinach & pickled walnut

Next we had Sicilian lamb, which my partner was especially excited for. This definitely lived up to expectations. All I had to do was poke at the lamb with my fork and it fell apart. It was so tender and melted in our mouths. It was served with a small piece of aubergine along with olive tapenade and lemon gel – the latter was surprisingly well matched with the rich lamb. We definitely missed this one when it was gone.

After the arancini, the hazelnut ragu as what I was also super excited for. I envisioned a delicate but rich little helping of pasta in a creamy sauce, and I got that and then some. It was accompanied by mozzarella foam and the taste of sharp, aged parmesan. This course was definitely not something I’d expect to enjoy, but seeing it on Nico’s menu really made me excited for it because I knew it would be something experimental and different that I’d be happy to try. It was an amazing blend of sharp and sweet flavours, and not what I expected at all. I really enjoyed this one!

Next up was a seabass course, but seeing as my partner and I aren’t people who like seabass, we opted out for the vegetarian option. Instead of seabass, we had halloumi with fregola sarda, cherry tomato puttanesca, caper raisin dressing and crispy cavolo nero. The halloumi was great, with strong, salty flavour and the accompanying components of the dish were sweet. I didn’t quite agree with the texture of the sides, and decided that even though I could appreciate that it was well made and put together, it just wasn’t for me. So, I didn’t finish it, which I was really upset about because the wait staff tend to congratulate you for leaving clean plates. This makes me feel like a child, but in a very endearing and warm way. Truly gutted.

Our final savoury course surprised me – it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. It was porchetta with salsicca, crème fraiche sorbet, pickled fennel, mustarda (yum!) and pistachio crumb, and it also came with two little bits of potato gnocchi, which I’ve never tried before. It fully tasted like little fancy balls of tattie scones and I was so into it. For this one, getting a big forkful of every component of the dish was the way to go, because everything together tasted unreal and complementary and just wow. Unfortunately, I was far too excited about this one and forgot to take a picture until I was like, half way through it. Once again, truly gutting. But then, that’s a sign of me being really excited for a bit of food – I was too excited to get stuck in and forgot to get my pretty, aesthetic, birds eye view pic.

the shame of being too excited to eat to take an aesthetic pic 🙁

Finally, dessert was a Sicilian lemon tart, with a crème fraiche sorbet, crystallised (CRYSTALLISED!) rosemary and pine nuts, all served on a basil biscuit, accompanied by little dots of red wine gel. The flavours on this dish were all so clean, and a great blend of savoury and sweet. The basil biscuit was herby and fresh tasting, and I particularly enjoyed isolating the lemon and crème fraiche and eating them together alone. The light lemon flavour was especially appreciated after ending the main courses with heavy meaty porchetta.

In the end, I’d say that my favourite dish from this menu was (obviously) the first: arancini. I’m a sucker for arancini. No matter where I am or where I go, if I see arancini on a menu I order it. So, it was set up for success from the very beginning. My least favourite was the fourth: the seabass that we swapped for halloumi. I didn’t finish it, and found that the flavours and textures just weren’t for me. My partner scoffed it up, and I am totally aware of my issues with this course being down to me, and not it. Think, it’s not you, it’s me. That’s the energy I’m bringing here. Most pleasantly surprising was the porchetta, because I really didn’t know what to expect from it, and I ended up inhaling it.

Six by Nico will never fail to provide a unique dining experience. You get to try four special little dishes, often put together with experimentalism in mind. As an ex-fussy eater, I trust the chefs at Nico’s completely. Honestly, we’re considering booking tables for a few time around the year, because the restaurant fills up so quickly. We figure that if we just book three or four tables across all of 2021, we’ll probably end up enjoying whatever menu we happen to end up with. Once again, Nico’s Sicily menu will be running until October 18th. If you have a hankering for some really special Italian food, I’d keep an eye out for any and all cancellations.

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