Six By Nico – Miami to Ibiza
Get transported to the sun-drenched shores of Miami and the white sands of Ibiza with Six By Nico’s latest offering, Miami to Ibiza. It was the perfect precursor to my dining partner’s belated 40th celebrations which will take place on the Balearic Island in September.
Nico Simeone’s concept is simple – an affordable six-course tasting menu, which changes every six weeks. At £37 for the tasting menu, and £30 for the matching wines, it’s a tried and tested idea that continues to wow guests, with dishes theatrically served and presented as mouthfuls of pure pleasure, both aesthetically and taste-wise.
This new menu, which is cooking until 17th July, spans two continents and includes six incredible dishes, with dietary dislikes and allergies catered for, with no questions asked, nor disdaining judgement from a slick and well-versed team. Even the vegetarian offerings cleverly mirror the textures and flavours of their meat alternatives.
We kicked off our evening with their aperitif, a Miami Vice (£7.50), which was sunset in a glass. A cocktail of strawberry, lime, pineapple liqueur, coconut rum and coconut mist, conjured up memories of summer evenings and the sweetness of the drink worked perfectly with the snacks (£6.50) of smoky, chargrilled Padron Peppers with Smoked Sea Salt and Aioli, and Pan Con Tomate, La Barca Olive Oil, a bruschetta-like offering.
Course 1 – Similar to little arancini balls but made with paella, this dish immediately transported us to Café Mambo in Ibiza, watching the sun going down.
Course 2 – Annoyingly my seafood allergy meant I was served the Tofu Tempura option. Not normally a fan of, in my opinion, this nondescript bean curd, this crispy tofu, had a lot going for it. Whilst it still hasn’t won me over to being a tofu fan, a lot of thought had gone into matching the texture of the tuna, with a vegetarian option. And for once, the tofu actually had some flavour.
However, the best bit about this course was the matching wine from Austria. – our favourite. A superb Pinot Blanc, light, honey and walnuts with a pretty citrus and floral flavour. Superb.
Course 3 – The matching wine, Campo Nuevo Viura, had a pleasant sharpness of apples and pears that complemented the mustard and gherkin accompaniments to the unctuous pork. Made with 60% percent Macebo grapes and 40% Chardonnay, it had a long taste but a short finish on the palate and cut through the fattiness of the pressed pork sandwich.
Course 4 – Caty, our waitress, tells us the matching wine, from North-East Spain, is a popular serve in many of the Michelin star restaurants. With its herbal, floral notes and minerality, the wine worked with both the Sea Bass and my oozing and comforting Manchego Cheese Ravioli, with its Ajo Blanco (almond and garlic) foam. Micro-filtered, it had slight carbonisation.
Course 5 – With a palate of dark chocolate and cherry liqueur with a hint of spice, this 100% Merlot wine was served with the Churrasco, which celebrates the art of chargrilling and smoking food.
Hot crispy onions, an onion and caper compote, pickled onions, and chargrilled spring onion - were served with beef cooked two ways.
Course 6 – The fortified wine mixed with brandy (17.5% ABV) was nectar in a glass. For fans of Pedro Ximénez (PX), you’ll love this, as it brought out the sweet, yet fresh flavours of the Little Havana desert. The brandy snap cigar was a lovely ‘nod’ to the Cuban cigar and the Cuban influences of Little Havana in Miami. The final piece of theatre was a Pina Colada foam spooned over the dessert, served from a golden pineapple.
If you’re looking for a way to escape our dreich Scottish summer, head to Six By Nico and you will be transported to places where the sun always shines.
Finally, a big shout-out must go to our serving team, in particular the affable Caty and stylish Jonathan, who both know the menu and the wines, like the back of their hands and added to the enjoyment of our dining experience. Their engaging personalities brought the theatrical dining experience to life.
Course 1 – THE IBIZA SUNSET – Paella Bombas, Saffron Aioli, Roasted Red Pepper, Crispy Chorizo
Course 1 – Vegetarian – Paella Bombas (without lobster), Saffron Aioli, Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, Basil Crisp
Course 2 – MIAMI BEACH - Seared Tuna Loin, Bonito Emulsion, Cucumber, Spring Onions, Chilli Ponzu Dressing
MATCHING WINE – The Dot Austrian Nut, Pinot Blanc, Weingut Pfaffl, Niederösterreich, Austria – Our favourite wine, it had an apple and pear sweetness to it.
Course 2 – Vegetarian – WYNWOOD WALLS – Tofu Tempura, Radishes, Saffron Emulsion, Cucumber, Spring Onion, Chilli Ponzu Dressing.
Course 3 – THE CUBAN – Pressed Pork Sandwich, Mustard Emulsion, Gherkin Relish, Choucroute, Pickled Mustard Seed
MATCHING WINE – Campo Nuevo Viura, Boegas Agronavarra, Navarra, Spain –
Course 4 – ES VEDRA – Sea Bass, White Grape, Beach Herbs, Celery, Smoked Potato, Ajo Blanco
Course 4 – Vegetarian – FORMENTERA – Manchego Cheese Ravioli, Grapes, Almonds, Ajo Blanco Foam
MATCHING WINE – Gozatu Txakoli, Astrobiza, Ayala Valley, Spain
Course 5 – CHURRASCO – Beef Rump Cap, Barbecue Rib, Smoked Emulsion, Onion & Caper Compote, Chimichurri
MATCHING WINE – Merlot 2015, Irgum Burgm, Villany, Hungary
Course 6 – LITTLE HAVANA – Coconut & Rum Parfait, Marinated Pineapple, Brandy Snap Cigar, Passion Fruit Mousse, White Chocolate Namelaka, Pina Colada
MATCHING WINE – Moscatel De Setúbal, Bacalhôa, Setúbal, Portugal