[Manchester, city centre] Six by Nico

The restaurant is part of a small chain, originally launched in Scotland and now has 13 branches in major UK cities. It’s an interesting concept based on the chain’s name – a six course themed tasting menu, changing every six weeks. And very reasonably priced at £39. And it’s obviously very popular. There were no tables available for seven weeks (except late afternoon or very late evening). Yes, seven weeks – I can get into Michelin starred restaurants quicker. And it’s sufficiently popular for a second Manchester branch to be opening in a couple of weeks. So, we had booked seven weeks in advance, meaning that we had no idea if we would fancy the menu available then. Fortunately, we did. So, a six course “street food” menu lay ahead on a rainy Manchester midweek evening. It casts its net quite widely across the globe.

There’s a steamed bun, attributed to South Korea, to start. It’s denser than a Chinese bao bun and the pork filling was a bit meagre. Nor could the heat from gochujang be detected. Next up, a potato samosa (Goa). Nice in itself but its quite delicate flavouring was completely overpowered by the amount of chilli in the pickle, also on the plate. They just hadn’t got the chilli balance right in either of these dishes.

A dish attributed to Istanbul came next, served partly on a plate and partly in a bowl. On the plate, a lamb belly kebab and some salsa verde. In the bowl, some shreds of cabbage, raisins and indeterminate foam. My favourite dish – but I’m male and northern, so a kebab of any sort is going to work for me. Off to Mexico now, for a fish taco, filled with a fish mousse. There’s also a small fillet of coalfish (no, me neither – but Google tells me it’s in the pollock family). There’s a scattering of crisp corn and some bits of charred corn, stripped from a cob. The tomatillo and jalapeno salsa, tasted fine, if a puree rather than an actual salsa. Then there was a take on Indonesian satay – nicely cooked bit of chicken breast, some leg topped with a peanut sauce, a shallot “jam” and a little pak choi. Nice dish if not particularly authentic.

As far as we could think, dessert seemed to have no connection to Hanoi, except perhaps for the French colonial involvement in Vietnam. But there’s a lovely chocolate cremeux, small shards of chocolate and a buttermilk ice cream.

So, food had been decent enough and was good value for money. Servers were on the ball - this was a very well oiled machine. We did however have one criticism. They add a 12.5% service charge, which is fine. But the bill also has an open “Tip” line (in large letters). It’s a disreputable practice which can only be considered as a way to catch out customers who have not spotted the service charge (in small letters), so effectively tipping twice. Shame on them.


Each of the individual courses sound great, but I’m not a fan of combining such different flavor profiles. My stomach just doesn’t like it. But I’m happy you enjoyed it! :grinning: