Nico Simeone at Six by Nico Oxford credit: Andrew Ogilvy Photography

Six by Nico opening on The Westgate rooftop yesterday was an exciting moment. Because not only does its reputation and culinary prowess precede it, but the new restaurant has rejuvenated the shopping centre’s eating hub after Cinnamon Kitchen, and more recently Pizza Pilgrims, closed.

But what is Six by Nico? For those of you who haven’t heard of it, the fine dining taster menu concept was first opened in Glasgow by esteemed chef Nico Simeone. Oxford is its 15th branch and aims to revolutionise top end dining.


How? With a themed six course menu for £50 that changes every six weeks, and if our preview lunch was anything to go by you’ll be cantering off there in no time. WATCH OUR REEL ON INTAGRAM

It’s not a quick experience however – six courses plus snacks take a while to plough through, especially with the wine pairing – but it was such an innovative affair, and the food so finessed, that the day just disappeared. Evenings might be more suitable if you have less time.

Six by Nico Oxford Interior Photography by Andrew Ogilvy

You can’t deviate either. It’s the themed six courses or nothing. Ours was ‘The Chippie ‘- Nico’s nostalgic chip shop-inspired menu – no doubt informed by his childhood in Glasgow where deep fried Mars bars reign supreme – and yes they did feature!

And if that doesn’t sound very rarified I can assure you it was. From the moment the Sea Side Spritz (lemon, Earl Grey and Prosecco) began fizzing with samphire powder, to the last bite of the battered Mars Bar balls served with chocolate pave and Irn Bru sorbet, it was a roller-coaster ride of heightened gastronomic dexterity.

Six By Nico

Full of surprises, you never knew what to expect next, despite the detailed menu, as we traversed through smoked potato croquettes (a snack) with gherkin ketchup, rapeseed emulsion, pickled onion and malt vinegar powder, the accruements akin to a gourmet combination of piccalilli and sandwich spread.

Potato croquette snack at Six by Nico

My favourite course was the ‘chips & cheese’ – a crisp cube of potato terrine placed on a bright yellow dab of delightful curry mayonnaise balanced on a black plate, which was then lifted off to reveal a parmesan espuma underneath, which tastes like a cross between a foam and a soup – so light, so delicate, so heavenly. It was so good I’m still working out how to sneak back in to sample it again.

cheese & chips at Six by Nico

Then the scampi brandade with dill emulsion, gribiche, spring peas and beurre blanc. Brandade are salt cod fish cakes, here exacerbated by the bite and tartness of the gribiche (like a tartare sauce but with tiny, diced boiled egg) and the pert tasty peas, so many layers, so many complex processes, so much attention to detail.

scampi at Six by Nico

The steak pie was a pert oval of 24 hour beef shin with burnt onion ketchup, mushroom duxelles and meaty salsa, then the fish supper – Scrabster Coley with pickled mussels, confit fennel, samphire and a beer emulsion, and of course the smoked sausage – a trio of pork, apple, crispy crackling, salt baked celeriac and choucroute. Oh Lord yes!

Steak pie at Six by Nico

The deep fried Mars bar I raved about earlier was worth waiting for, perfectly accompanied by the gloriously fresh, zingy orangey, light sorbet offset and a deeply naughty slice of chocolate pave.

Throw in an excellent vegetarian menu, immaculate service, and decadent atmosphere, and Six by Nico was worth every penny of the £50 for six courses tally – you’d be hard pushed to get three courses at a pub for that.

Deep Fried Mars bar at Six by Nico

What’s more, no expense has been spared on the interior design, the luxurious, decadent, almost immersive restaurant complete with open plan kitchen, a large tree, plate glass windows and velvet banquettes, it’s Mediterranean feel perhaps inspired by Nico’s Italian parents.

So welcome Six by Nico, you’ve already raised the bar by not only offering something new, exciting and indelibly tasty. And while my arteries weren’t nearly so delighted, it was too late – Six by Nico had already made a lasting impression.

So the only remaining question is I suppose, having glimpsed Nico in the kitchens, whether Oxford’s Six By Nico can keep up these impeccable standards. Only time will tell.

six by Nico

Six by Nico, Westgate, Oxford

Opening times: 
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 4.30pm-11.45pm
Tuesday: CLOSED 
Friday – Sunday: noon – 11.45pm