Is this Dublin's most affordable, luxury wine-paired tasting menu?
Let's take a look!
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the launch of Six by Nico, Dublin. If the name does not ring any bells, it is sure to be on your radar soon. Six by Nico is a UK restaurant chain based on an innovative concept. If you need a hint, the clue is in the name! Every six weeks, the accomplished team, under the direction of Scottish-Italian chef Nico Simeone, create an inspired six-course tasting menu based on a fresh theme.
The current theme is a crafty take on The Chipper.
Primely located on Molesworth Place, just off Dawson Street, the restaurant is just a stone’s throw from the Luas Green Line. We were met with a smiley reception on arrival as we let out a sigh of relief leaving the frosty night behind us to settle into our comfortable and luxurious surroundings for the next couple of hours. An aperitif landed on our table just as we sat down, a Malfy Lemon Gin cocktail, named ‘Sea Side Spritz’ which made every bit of a gastronomic splash! Our friendly hostess checked in to see that all our needs were catered to. I eat fish but no red meat although, my plus one is a moderately less discriminating omnivore.
Sea Side Spritz - A lemon gin cocktail aperitif
The idea for the theme will excite the palates of any custodian of the treasured fish and chipper dinner. An ingenious take on timeless favourites from the local chipper, this theme evoked plenty of deep fried nostalgia and my warning is to stop reading now if you’re hungry.
To kick things off, we were served sourdough bread and silvery-black shellfish butter that had the depth and sweetness of a bisque and a whipped, melt-in-the-mouth texture. With this came a ‘snack’ of bite sized morsels, little croquettes of smoked cod presented on a newspaper cut-out titled ‘Daily Catch’! Gherkin Ketchup and a pastel-coloured rapeseed emulsion (a jazzy mayonnaise!) elevated the chipper classic to something first-class.
The first course was Chips and Cheese. A small plate of crispy potato terrine arrived over a bowl of Parmesan espuma, a cheesy foam intended as a dipping sauce, or a full scale drenching, depending on your level of etiquette! This was followed by the scampi and our first wine, a Picpoul de Pinet from the Languedoc. This is one of those rare wines eponymous with both its grape variety and its region of origin. The Picpoul grape grows by the sea and is known for its refreshing, saline quality.
A twist on the beloved Steak Pie followed; a tender 24 hour beef shin encased in a buttery shortcrust with burnt onion Ketchup and mushroom duxelles. I had the Vegetarian Option, a root vegetable pie with offered no less an abundance of explosive umami pleasure. This was paired with a Primitivo Appassimento from Puglia. Appassimento describes a wine-making technique where they partially dry the grapes to produce a wine with greater concentration and flavour which is exactly what a savoury Steak Pie calls for.
Three courses down and only two to go before the Battered Mars Bar dessert! The next course showcased Shetland cod with pickled mussels and confit fennel and a generous scattering of crunchy crispies intended to represent the bottom of the chip bag, unarguably the best part! All well balanced by a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc with trademark gooseberry flavours and mouth-puckering appeal. This was followed by a rendition of Smoked Sausage; a trio of pork with choucroute, black pudding and apple. Feta and spinach Cannelloni made a satisfying vegetarian alternative and both were paired with a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon.
Last and by no means least came the Deep Fried Mars Bar - a showstopper. This sweet course was composed of a beignet-type fritter, oozing with warm Mars bar scrumminess and served with a chocolate pave and Irn Bru Sorbet, the final Scottish touch. We really enjoyed the wine pairing here; a late harvest Tokaji Furmint. For anyone unfamiliar, this is a rich honied dessert wine made from sun-shrivelled grapes in Hungary. The perfect accompaniment to this final course.
By the end, we were satisfied without feeling like it was too much. The courses were thoughtfully portioned and we never felt rushed. Atmosphere, service and food deserve top marks!
The best part? The whole experience is ludicrously good value. The six-course food menu is €45 and only an additional €39 when paired with wines. This makes it a fine dining experience that is so accessible and a great option for an upcoming anniversary or a catch up with friends.
Six by Nico, Dublin is the new dining spot sure to make waves.
Learn more about Six By Nico menus and make your booking here.
For more bite-sized wine information check out WineBabbl.