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  • Writer's pictureDiana Spencer

The Frugal Foodie: Six by Nico - world of imagination until July 2nd

Six by Nico is a frugal foodie's dream. While previously ‘tasting menus’ were only available in expensive, luxury restaurants, Nico Simeone is on a mission to bring fine dining to everyone, so his themed, regularly changing tasting menus are designed to be interesting and unique, yet affordable. It’s a winning formula, with ten established venues around the UK and another just about to open in Leeds.

At £39 per head for a six course menu, I'm not saying this is a cheap night out, but for the standard of service and the quality of the food, it is excellent value. For the full experience, paired wines cost just £30, far cheaper than similar restaurants, certainly any with such a convenient central location. There is also always a snack and aperitif at the start that complement the theme, but these are optional extras.

Obviously there have to be some compromises to make this a viable business. Diners are limited to a 2-hour slot, which could be an issue for slow eaters, but the staff manage to keep the courses coming without it feeling like a rush and offer breaks when needed. The atmosphere in the restaurant is bustling yet relaxed. Diners also shouldn't expect expensive items like scallops or sirloin steak on the menu, yet the need to keep costs lower forces the chef into more ingenious use of cheaper, well-chosen and seasonal ingredients.

The new menu 'A World of Imagination' is more playful and theatrical than most previous line-ups, with an emphasis on creative presentation, interaction and subverting expectation. Playing with food is usually frowned upon, but in this case, it is actively encouraged.

I'm reluctant to give too much away as this is really something you should experience for yourself, but the whole menu is thoroughly enjoyable and really plays to the strengths of the excellent young service team. While there are a couple of elements that seem to favour style over substance, on the whole, the dishes are delicious and well balanced.

In conclusion, this is a fun yet sophisticated dining experience that won't break the budget. It's only on till 2 July, so don't wait to book!

Six by Nico Edinburgh

97 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 1DJ

Opening hours: 12pm - 11.45pm everyday

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