Chef Nico Simeone's newest venture is in collaboration with Beatson Cancer Charity, which will receive 100% of Beat 6's profits. Editor-in-Chief Lucy Dunn reviews following her recent invite.
Dennistoun has been described as “up and coming”, “retro and modern”, and “the UK’s coolest neighbourhood”. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that it was chosen as the base for Nico Simeone’s newest restaurant: Beat 6. A collaboration between Six by Nico and Beatson Cancer Charity - situated in Hyndland - the new project will donate 100% of their profits to the charity, making the tasting menu experience that little bit more special.
The tasting menu we were presented with consisted of an exciting mix of dishes from across Six by Nico’s previous menus. Despite originating from differing themes, the dishes were surprisingly complementary, accompanied, of course, by a selection of paired wines plus the ever-anticipated apéritif.
We were offered the optional table snacks that would normally come at an additional £5 per person: “corndogs” from the Circus menu, which consisted of a prawn and sausage ballotine, drizzled with a red pepper ketchup combined with the saffron emulsion, and sourdough bread with whipped butter. The seafood-meat mix was the perfect size to satisfy those pre-meal cravings without dampening your appetite for the remainder of the evening, and the saffron and red pepper combination can hardly be described as anything other than moreish.
"The seafood-meat mix was the perfect size to satisfy those pre-meal cravings without dampening your appetite for the remainder of the evening..."
Eagerly awaiting the first of the six course-strong menu, we were not disappointed. Even just thinking back to it - the “Raclette” amuse bouche from The Alps menu - evokes mouth-watering memories. The fondue was creamy, artistically polka-dotted with green, and the cocktail sticks of “crispy pigs head”, mini cornichon and quince - fruity and jelly-like - provided a delicious pork-and-apple flavouring that was invigorating without being overpowering.
The next course was - like our optional starter - from the Circus menu: the “Beef Burger”. This came with a lot of parmesan and, whilst I am a fan and have even - please don’t judge me - cut off a block to snack on whilst cooking, it felt like it was going to be a little too much. Weirdly, though, it balanced out, and this was actually one of the best courses of the night.
“Little Italy”, from Nico’s NYC menu, followed soon after. A pumpkin-based pasta presented in a pearly blue dish, this was, aesthetically, one of the nicest plates. The Cacio e Pepe Agnolotti pasta was dotted with pickled pumpkin, a pumpkin seed pesto and a parsley emulsion. Lovers of, yes, pumpkin, and veggies will love this one, though it wasn’t my favourite of the night’s selection.
“Fish Supper 2.0” brought back fond memories of my recent outing to Finnieston’s Six by Nico for the Guilty Pleasures tasting menu. Maybe it’s the Scottish in me, but I don’t think I could ever get bored of this course. I have never needed to describe curry sauce as delectable before, but that is entirely what it was. The cod dish picked up the essence of a fish supper and somehow managed to gentrify it, without at all taking away its allure.
"I have never needed to describe curry sauce as delectable before, but that is entirely what it was."
Another favourite course of the evening was the “Penang Chicken” from Nico’s Thai menu. Accompanied by a sweet potato hash, papaya salsa, coriander emulsion and red curry sauce, the flavours branched out more from those of the course’s predecessors and the plate was a perfect finale to the savoury side of the menu.
And, finally, was the unsurprisingly brilliant dessert from Nico’s Chippie menu: caramelia pave, Irn Bru sorbet, and deep fried Mars Bar. If you’ve always wanted to try the stereotyped Scottish dessert but never felt brave enough to order the full-fat, oil drenched, deep-fried number from an actual chip shop, this is your way in. A ball of Mars Bar was just enough, coupled with the lightness of the Irn Bru sorbet.
Where Six by Nico updates its menu every six weeks, Beat 6 will do so every fortnight. Intimate in size, the East End restaurant seats 34 people. Characteristic of all Nico Simeone’s restaurants, the chefs cook in the same room as their guests, and if you’re lucky enough to be seated at the bar, you’ll experience this firsthand. Open Tuesday to Saturday, from noon until late, the tasting menu is reasonably priced at £32 per person, with an additional £27 per person if you opt for the wine pairing. Vegetarian options are also offered if you would like to swap out any of the meat-containing mains.
Nico Simeone started it following his wife’s treatment at the Beatson hospital. Discussing the venture, he said: "We, like many others, hold a special place in our hearts for the Beatson. We hope that the proceeds from Beat 6 will benefit the charity and the staff to whom we owe so much, as well as provide our team with the opportunity to be a part of such an important cancer journey.
"Nico Simeone started it following his wife’s treatment at the Beatson hospital. Discussing the venture, he said: 'We, like many others, hold a special place in our hearts for the Beatson.'"
An exciting day for our team who have worked hard over the past 4 month to prepare for the opening. We genuinely hope that this is the first of many Beat 6 restaurants that we will be able to open for them, and we will always be grateful for everything they do to help change the lives of those affected by cancer every day.”
CEO of Beatson Cancer Charity, Martin Cawley, said: “Beat 6 is one of the most exciting fundraising initiatives I think we’ve ever been involved in. There are probably around 30,000 people per year diagnosed with cancer in Scotland – Greater Glasgow and Clyde is by far the biggest proportion of that. That means there will be thousands of people that will benefit from Beat 6, and over the course of the years, that will be immeasurable.
We’re so grateful to Nico Simeone, his wife Valentina and the rest of their family – their generosity is overwhelming.”
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