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Monday, January 8, 2024

Manchester, England: One Tasting Menu + Six Courses = Four Happy Campers

Six By Nico (Manchester)
60 Spring Gardens
Manchester M2 2BQ England
+44 161 832 1815
Prices: €€€
My wife's niece and her hubby had a long-standing reservation at Six By Nico and asked us to join them once we finalized our somewhat last-minute plans to visit them for New Year's. I am very pleased that they did.
This is an interesting concept. They change the six-course tasting menu every six weeks and we arrived for the tail end of their ¨Tokyo¨ theme. The six courses costs just £39 and you can add wine pairing for another £30, for a total of £79 if you go that route. Unfortunately, I had to drive my three accompanying tea-tot tellers, so none of us imbibed much to my chagrin.
They have a ¨Regular¨menu and a ¨Vegetarian¨menu, so everybody was happy. I went with the regular menu, so I cannot review the vegetarian option other than to say that the vegetarian in our party seemed quite happy.

Course 1: Chicken Karaage - Crispy chicken thigh, togarashi (whatever that is), and orogi shoga ginger.
The crispy, diamond-shaped little critter was garnished with pretty little orange flowers and greens and two little blobs of yellow cream, the togarashi and orogi shoga ginger I had assumed. It was delicious and a great start to our meal.

Course 2:  Tempura - Crisp enoki mushroom, pickled daikon, and ponzu.
The mushroom looked like a piece of coral, tempura style, and it was surrounded by some more small globules that looked like chocolate, a big blob that looked very similar in color with a crispy round thing on top, and some other red blobs that turned out be quite spicy, probably chili-based. The mushroom itself was crispy and the brown paste tasted like a mushroom concoction of some kind but, when combined, it was extremely flavorful.

Course 3: Oknoiyaki - Pork and prawn pancake, okonomi sauce, and Japanese mayonnaise.
This was one of my favorite courses. The pancake looked and tasted like half of a tart, pastry or pie rather than a pancake and was drizzled with white stuff, likely the mayo, and topped with freshly picked watercress and some other weeds. It was savory, complex in texture and taste, and a winner in my book ... HOOAH!

Course 4: Miso Sea Bass - Tokyo turnip, shimeji mushroom, egg yolk jam, and kombu dashi.
I am not a huge fish lover, but the bass was perfectly cooked and seared to a golden brown, sitting atop some stringy white things which I assumed were the mushrooms. There was a tiny little egg yolk on the plate and a crispy gyoza, then our server poured a warm, brownish broth on top. The combination of the sea bass, mushroom, a little egg yolk and a piece of gyoza in every bite was sublime. Hey, I like fish after all!
Course 5: Tonkatsu - Panko pork cutlet, glazed belly, cabbage, hokkaido pumpkin, and yakitori ham jam.
This was the best course of the bunch. I am not sure which was the cutlet and which was the belly, but there were two of them on the plate, one with sliced cabbage on top, along with a big orange splotch (pumpkin I assume), a smaller round yellow one, and a cylindrical brown one. Whatever they were, they were scrump-diddly-sumptuous! I alternated tasting the meats with the different blobs and I have to say they were all great ... we have a winner!
Course 6: Strawberry Candy - White chocolate, matcha cake, and candy strawberry.
Finally, the dessert course. On the plate was a white chocolate rectangular parfait of some kind with a couple of red lobs on top accompanied by a kind of strawberry mousse/ice cream, a couple of sliced strawberries, and some green stuff that looked like kale. Oh, yeah, there was a shard of red glass made of sugar sticking out of the whole thing. The white chocolate bar was creamy and yummy, the strawberry parfait equally as good, the red blobs I was not sure about but they were sweet, and the kale also turned out to be a confection of some kind. I was very impressed by the complexity and the artistic panache of the dish ... YES!
I have never been attracted to foo-foo restaurants with their tiny portions and massive prices, but this place was THE BOMB. A beautifully presented six-course tasting menu of delicious varieties in a Tokyo theme, even if I had no idea what most of the ingredients were, all for just 40 Quid. Impressive!
Much to my surprise, we all left satiated, not stuffed, raving about the food, whatever it was, and how we wanted to come back and try the next menu - Mad Hatter's Tea Party or something along those lines.
The only negative was the aloofness and insincerity of some of the servers. With one exception, they were disengaged and phony as they described the courses. As I have mentioned in other reviews, Generation Z seems to be producing socially incompetent humans, not surprising because they only know how to talk to each other via SMS or on social media. 

CombatCritic Gives Six By Nico 9 Bombs Out Of 10 And A Spot On MY ¨WALL OF FAME¨... More Bombs Are Better ... HOOAH again!
Nine Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "U.S. Marine Response To A Verbal Greeting Or As An Expression Of Enthusiasm"

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Title: Manchester, England: One Tasting Menu + Six Courses = Four Happy Campers 

Key Words: Six by Nico, six, Nico, Manchester, England, Tasting Menu, Tokyo, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, business, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

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