Sometimes I think it would be lovely to go back to a simpler time when fairytales were all that consumed your thoughts, and all you needed was a little magic and sparkle to get you through the day.
As it happens, Six by Nico are here to help you suspend belief and forget the daily struggles of being an adult, if only for one charming evening.
If anyone find themselves unfamiliar with what the food wizards at Six by Nico do, let me tell you a tale of how they have revolutionised the food scene in Aberdeen.
Long, long ago (well, in 2022 actually), a magical new restaurant appeared in Aberdeen as if from nowhere (but actually from the already extremely popular series of restaurants owned by Nico Simeone).
They conjured up thrilling six course tasting menus, all imaginatively themed, that spin off to another land and reappear completely reinvented every six weeks, and the people of Aberdeen have lived happily ever after since.
Add a little fizz to your day when you book in at Six by Nico for ARW
Six by Nico are once again on the foodie fortnight line-up, this time offering a free glass of bubbly alongside the new six course tasting menu for £35 (£39 on Saturday).
You can level up your experience by adding on paired wines for £30, which I would highly recommend, as each careful selection is always on point and really adds to the meal.
The imaginative new Once upon a Time menu promises to “take you on a journey through our favourite nostalgic memories”, drawing influence from classic stories that we all knew and loved as children.
From Cinderella to James and the Giant Peach, prepare to be whisked away on a trip down memory lane.
Every good story begins with one special moment…
In addition to the six course extravaganza ahead of you, SBN always offer an additional snack (an extra £7.50) to kick things off, and I for one, with perpetual eyes-bigger-than-belly syndrome, can never resist them.
This time, alongside the usual sourdough and salted butted, it was crispy gyozas stuffed with either chorizo and manchego, or eloté (a creamy Mexican corn) for the veggies, both dotted with a luxurious sweet roasted garlic mayo, and both utterly delicious.
After a charming chat and a bit of story-telling from the very lovely Mia, our decisions on the rest of the menu were quickly made. You can choose from either the original of the vegetarian menus, or even go vegan.
In the spirit of adventure, we decided to go for one of each.
Given that between us, a mighty twelve dishes were consumed throughout the evening, allow me to spin a yarn of just a few of my favourite dishes from the evening, but you can find out how the rest of the story ends by checking out the full menu for yourself.
Course one was an instant winner for both of us. Entitled ‘Bird Pie – The Twits’, the reference was clear.
What arrived in front of us undeniably resembled something that might have just fallen out of a tree, but in a far more stylish manner than Roald Dahl’s the Twits themselves may have served it.
A bubble of fantastically savoury, foamy espuma cleverly concealed either a chicken and duck leg or white bean ragu, speckled with tangy chunks of pickled celeriac. Topped with a beautifully crunchy smattering of puff pasty and crispy onion pieces, this was a wonderful start to the meal.
Mushroom magic on a plate…
Who knew that mushrooms could be so magical? Course two, ‘Just Right Porridge – Goldilocks’ blew me away.
This was a shining example of how to do a veggie option as it should be, stunning to look at, full of texture and bursting with flavour.
Consisting of spaetzle (a satisfyingly chewy German noodle), barbecue maitake, white turnip and black garlic dressing, it was an absolute flavour sensation, and one that left me licking the scrumptious, sticky barbecue sauce off my lips long after the plate was cleared.
A dessert fit for Bruce Bogtrotter himself
I’d be doing SBN an absolute injustice if I didn’t give mention to the completely adorable James and the Giant Peach themed course that had diners gazing at their plates with child-like wide-eyed wonder, and while the goat’s cheese stuffed orb was extremely tasty, I really do need to give my full attention to the dessert course…
Everyone knows the scene in Matilda, when poor unsuspecting Brucey is paraded in front of the whole school and forced to scoff down a gargantuan, oozing chocolate cake. Something I always aspired to having a go at myself as a child.
Very sadly I turned into an adult before getting the chance, so when I saw ‘Brucey! Brucey! – Matilda’ on the menu, you can imagine my excitement.
What we received might not have been the physical embodiment of the mammoth cake that Brucey had to take on, but what it lacked in size, it made up for in big, bold, in your face chocolate flavour.
Chocolate cremeux, miso caramel and mango and passion fruit sorbet were the stars of this dish, and it was just phenomenal.
Now that’s what I call a happy ending.
This extraordinary menu full of creative dishes was delicious as always, but for me lacked a little of the theatricality and fun that could have really brought this fairytale to life.
Service was exceptional as always, and these two princesses returned from the ball very happy indeed.
A: 367 Union Street, Aberdeen AB11 6BT
Aberdeen Restaurant Week promotion: Six course tasting menu for £35/£39pp with a free glass of fizz