Chef Nico Simeone has made a name for himself in Scotland and beyond for themed dining. This started with the ever-popular Six by Nico, which opened in Glasgow in 2017, and brought the concept of themed six weekly changing tasting menus alive to an inquisitive audience.
From the Chippy to Willy Wonka, to graphical locations such as Paris and Vietnam, the restaurants (he now has two in Glasgow, one in Edinburgh, two in London and one in Belfast and Manchester) book out weeks in advance (for prime weekend slots).
During lockdown, Simeone turned his hand to dine at home boxes and an ecommerce site, Home-X, including a cook at home Chateaubriand box for two.
This concept proved so popular that Chateau-X was born, and opened its first restaurant in Finnieston in Glasgow in late 2021.
The concept is a short snappy menu, with only one main option - a chateaubriand for two to share, with sides for £35.
After a successful few months in Glasgow, the restaurant is making its debut in Edinburgh for the month of August, offering Fringe-goers the same offering as Glasgow, from Six by Nico on Hanover Street. So, after my first Fringe show in three years, I popped along to the pop-up on a balmy and busy Tuesday night.
Six by Nico is on the site of the former Passorn Thai Brasserie and is a stylish eatery with bistro tables and chairs, banquettes and shelves of coloured glass vases.
The menu here is short, you’re only really choosing if you want starter snacks before your steak. At the Edinburgh pop-up, these consist of sourdough with whipped bone marrow butter, puffed pork rinds with chilli and peanut dip, fresh burrata with salsa Verde and west coast oysters.
We chose the pork rinds (£4.50) and oysters (£9). The four west coast oysters were served on a large iron pan, nestled in ice. Each one was plump and creamy and served simply with a squeeze of fresh lemon to bring out their flavour.
Across the table, the generous portion of pork rinds looked like posh Quavers, and packed a punch of flavour. Crispy and a little fatty, the sticky peanut sauce added a little welcome sweetness.
Then it was on to the main event. For those that want to know the origin of their steak, and why not, Gilmour Butcher - a popular and local meat supplier - has partnered with the brand to supply the steaks.
The chateaubriand is served sliced up alongside a roasted tomato, flat cap mushrooms and watercress.
There’s a selection of sides, which include hand cut Rooster skinny fries, truffle mac and cheese, XO broccoli with cashew and sesame dressing, beef dripping carrots with tarragon and carrot top pesto, heirloom tomato panzanella salad or roasted pumpkin with parmesan and red pepper trapanese pesto.
Guests can choose from garlic butter, chimichurri, peppercorn or Hebridean blue cheese sauce alongside their steak.
We opted for the fries, broccoli and pumpkin, and a classic peppercorn sauce. Although we each had a steak knife that resembled a mini meat cleaver, the meat could have been easily cut with a normal knife - it was almost as soft as butter.
Cooked medium rare and seasoned well, it’d be easy to enjoy without the sauce although the peppercorn added a bit of bite and extra richness.
The fries were crisp, with a good amount of salt, while the broccoli was sprinkled with sesame seeds and had a kick from the XO sauce.
It was the pumpkin that was a stand out for me. Sweet cubes of orange were dusted with strong parmesan while underneath, hidden pieces of red pepper revealed themselves with every spoonful. A good balance of flavours and texture.
While we may have been stuffed, the allure of a £1 ice cream cone served with crushed amaretti and chocolate sauce was too good to say no to, especially on a warm summer’s evening.
The light soft scoop will instantly take you back to childhood and the sweet addition of the rich sauce and crushed biscuits are ideal for a little grown up sophistication.
At Chateau-X you can expect good quality produce cooked quickly and well in a stylish environment close to the city centre. With so much going on this month at the Fringe, this is one place for the ‘must see’ list.
Chateau-X will be popping up at Six by Nico on Hanover Street on 23 August from 12pm. Walk-ins welcome though bookings can be made online.
97 Hanover Street