As the saying goes, time waits for no man, and, as we race towards summer, it’s difficult to believe that chef Nico Simeone - owner of Six by Nico - only opened the doors of the concept restaurant six years ago.
The restaurant, which started on Argyle Street in Glasgow, has a six weekly changing tasting menu of six courses, which started off at £25. Now, Six by Nico currently has 11 restaurant sites across the UK and Northern Ireland and is due to open soon in Leeds and Dubai later this year.
Nico’s ever growing portfolio of restaurants also included 111 by Nico, which he gifted to head chef Modou in 2020 and Beat 6, a charitable restaurant that was set up to help fundraise for Glasgow’s Beatson cancer centre. Nico, his wife Valentina and their family want to help Beatson Cancer Charity help others in the same way it helped them.
Valentina is one of thousands of Scots who have benefited from the Beatson's world-class treatment after she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Beat 6 initially opened in Dennistoun, in the east end of Glasgow, but has now moved to Bearsden, on the former site of Burger and Bun and next door to Oi Mamma.
Inside there’s lots of exposed brick, wooden flooring and industrial style lighting. It’s stylish but in a paired back way. The kitchen, part of which can be seen from the dining area,has the same aesthetic.
The two-level, 48-seat restaurant from the team behind Six by Nico invites guests to "Dine to Donate" with profits going to the Beatson. Diners can choose from a monthly rotating four-course set menu. Upstairs on a mezzanine level of Beat 6, a private dining area is available for gatherings, events and fundraising dinners and is set to be used by the Beatson.
So far Six by Nico and their customers have raised over £350,000 for Beatson Cancer Charity through a series of team events across their eleven locations in England, Scotland, and Ireland since the group's partnership's inception in 2021.
Ahead of the relocation, Nico Simeone said: "We, like many others, have a special place in our hearts for the Beatson, and we will be eternally grateful for everything they do on a daily basis to help change the lives of those affected by cancer.
"Our new Bearden neighbourhood location will continue to raise vital funds for the charity and the staff to whom we owe so much, while also giving our team the opportunity to be a part of such an important cancer awareness journey. Our donations of over £350,000 to date are just the beginning, and Beat 6's new home in Bearsden is one of the most exciting fundraising initiatives we're ever been a part of."
We visited midweek and, although I understand the quirky, changeable nature of Six by Nico, it’s nice to see a menu where you have some choices for each course although it wouldn’t be a Nico restaurant if there wasn’t a concept.
This one is "Discover" an ‘adventurous’ four-course tasting menu that only lists a core ingredient of each dish. The menu is split into snacks and an aperitif, course one to four with an optional cheese course, which as well as the snacks, is optional.
The four courses are £28 with an optional wine pairing which is £20 - a not too shabby amount for a good feed these days. The snacks on the current menu are a bitesized and moreish mushroom mac and cheese croquette and soft and slightly sweet Parker House rolls served with whipped blackthorn butter.
Course one, which is more like an amuse-bouche than a meal, was a warm pickled walnut and pecorino tart, served on a wafer thin base, this was a rich, umami morsel. From course two, it was the squid ink spaghetti served with dashi butter and langoustine oil that was stand out, though the hasselback potato with its earthy black truffle crème fraiche and smoked black garlic emulsion was a strong second.
For course three, we chose the glazed chicken, which consisted of confit leg, malt, caramalised onion, all balanced by a sweet date jam and poached coley served with a Tandoori butter, carrot top salsa verde and marmalade.
The cheese course, which is £6 extra, was a small chuck of grilled clootie dumpling, on top of which was melted Clava brie and a drizzle of truffle honey.
A delight and we both could have eaten a triple helping. Finally dessert - a 50 per cent chocolate cremeux served with Pedro Ximenez and an almost savoury milk sorbet and strawberries chopped up and served on top, alongside jam and sorrel, a panna cotta style set mix of Katy Rodgers yoghurt and cream cheese. Not one for those with a sweet tooth but an interesting mix of fresh and creamy flavours.
The chefs in charge of Beat 6 have come from Unalome by Graeme Cheevers, which was awarded a Michelin Star last year - one which it retained this year, so the expectation is high, and they do not disappoint.
From the snacks to the dessert, this was a meal you’d expect to pay at least double for, and with the knowledge that you’re supporting a brilliant cause, dinner at Beat 6 is time well spent.
149 Milngavie Road in Bearsden, Glasgow, G61 3DY
0141 486 8666