Six by Nico: Cooking Wonka, Glasgow

It’s June and no one knows how that happened.

It’s also really (too) warm and the sun has been blasting all over Glasgow. I think everyone is feeling spoiled with all the good weather, but I just feel sweaty. It’s also my birthday month which means I also have to feel older and question virtually every life choice made leading up to this birthday. Right? Or I can just counteract all the sweat and emotions with treating myself all month long?

I’ll go with the latter… and one of those treats was lunch from Six by Nico.

As a Glasgow favourite, even amongst your picky co-workers who claim they don’t like pizza or chocolate, Six by Nico manages to create excitement by changing their menu every (yes) six weeks. It’s always a big deal on social media with stunning food photos, articles, I’m pretty sure wildly produced videos. It’s all very theatrical, but it works as reservations are always limited.

As I’m always meaning to do something, I have wanted to try their food since they opened back in February 2017, but only made it last weekend. The themes have varied from geographical locations to Disney, but when the ‘Cooking Wonka’ theme was announced I felt the time had finally come for me to go. I was sold on the idea of a Beetroot Dib Dab and their ‘Wonka Bar’ dessert of peanut butter and Amarena cherries. Oft.

I’m pretty sure this is standard of every theme, but eaters get a six course tasting menu for £28pp and the option for wine pairings for £25pp. There’s a vegetarian and additional snack option available as well if you’re feeling quite hungry. I found the price for the amount of food on offer quite reasonable.

The restaurant itself is decorated quite simply with grey tones. This works fine because the space is a little on the small and cramped side, depending on where you’re sitting. When we sat down we didn’t need to wait long for a drink order or food. Luckily for me, there’s not many decisions to make. We opted out of the wine pairing option because I don’t think we could keep up with six wines each in a two hour reservation spot. I was feeling responsible, but most people seemed to go for
the pairing option.

I went for the special aperitif cocktail of ‘Fizzy Lifting Juice’ which luckily didn’t make me burp. It was basically a G & T with some grapefruit and it was meant to have popping candy with it. The drink arrived in a branded ‘Edinburgh Gin’ glass (I don’t know why that put me off) and tasted as expected, but the sugared rim with popping candy had zero popping action. Sigh.

Let the food begin. Now, just so you know our service was pretty matter of fact. They rhyme off loads of words, I think some ingredients, but my mind could not keep up so you’re getting the highlights and some pretty subpar photos due to
lighting, sorry.

The first course is the Cheese Board. Basically cheese and crackers with a fun element of a fizzy grape, which honestly was just a normal grape. No fizz or tartness about it. The cheese cracker still tasted good though because it’s CHEESE on a CRACKER. My favourite snack really. Soft melty blue cheese on the thinnest cracker I think I’ve ever eaten. A nice surprise was the room temperature Celery and Apple Gazpacho. It genuinely started off an apple then finished with a strong celery taste. I don’t know how the switch happened but it was very pleasant.

Next up that anticipated Beetroot Dib Dab.

This one was just shy of being my favourite dish. Beetroot and mackerel… there were no surprises here, just a straight up tasty, slightly salty dish. The little quail’s egg was just enough crunch for the soft surrounding textures. I would have liked more of this beetroot sherbet powder, as the title of the dish creates something visually different and more interactive than what was served, but if it tastes good does that really matter?

Okay, the Duck Sweetie Jar is just not for me. I’m not mad for pâté and when a meat is whipped into angel delight, I struggle. Lots of fun elements in the jar- some meringue, apple, fried duck, other duck… but overall the pate and gelatinous fat pressed against the glass of the jar put me off, but others were literally scraping the jar with their spoon to get as much as possible.

Moving on up to the Cod Blackjack plate. A visually beautiful plate because of that squid ink and caper berry sauce. The sauce was thick like mayo, lacked a bit of flavour, but the piece of cod was cooked to perfection. Flakes ahoy. Served
with a cod bon bon (what is this, Masterchef?) and a gentle piece of squid.

By this point I was starting to feel pretty full and while I was once envious we passed on the snacks option, I was pretty happy we did.

My favourite dish of the theme was the Chocolate River. Reading the dish descriptions it sounds like the most ‘Wonka’ plate on the menu. The dish is quite salty, the chicken is brined and the olives are pretty intense on the drying/brining process, but the whole dish comes together well. I just stirred it all together and shoved it into my gub. The mole could have been spicier, but I’m happy it wasn’t too sweet. Moist chicken, hearty giant cous cous— this dish was really comforting.

And then dessert. Which really, well… look at it.

That’s not a dessert, but on this occasion I was happy to have something quite teeny because again… stuffed. The Amarena cherry was drowned in booze and went well with the little swirls of peanut butter and cream cheese. You’re also given
a little Wonka Bar, but we were too full to eat it onsite.

Unfortunately it melted by the time we finally decided to snack on it… I’m sure it looked much nicer than this:

The chocolate itself was nice, but ruined by the orange flavour. Sorry, I’m just not a fan of that combination.

And there you have. Some really tasty food on its own accord, but a little disappointing in relation to the theme. If there wasn’t a Wonka Bar wrapper at the end I don’t think I would have picked up on that particular theme or any theme
at all.

I do wish they had went a little further out there with the concept and to be honest some of the flavours, but there’s plenty of opportunity to amp up the taste with their newest revealed theme of ‘Mexico’.

You know I’m there, and with high spice expectations.

If you want to catch the Cooking Wonka menu you have until June 24th.

Until next time.




Six by Nico, 1132 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G3 8TD


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