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“Never Meet Your Heroes”
I never really understood why people say never meet you, heroes, surely the reason they are your heroes is that you want to meet them…sounds a bit like an Oxymoron.
My brothers and I are great cricket fans, but we love good cricket as opposed to supporting a certain team for jingoistic purposes, so imagine our excitement when we found out India was coming to Scotland to play a one-day international.
At the time the great Sachin Tendulkar was the captain of India and was one of the greatest batsmen ever.
We were giddy with excitement, so I set off with my brothers Goblees and Ralfy Foodwala to track down the elusive Mr. Tendulkar.
We set about the chase like a military operation, we phoned all the hotels until we found out where they were staying, we then went to the hotel to see him but found out he had just left for dinner.
The staff was not forthcoming or the whereabouts of the dinner venue, We eventually found the loose-lipped concierge who told us where he was after a few crisp twenty-pound notes accidentally fell into his pocket.
Sechin was at the Nandos at Springfield Quay… the chase was well and truly on, we piled into our bashed but trusted Toyota Camry and headed for Nandos.
We arrived at Nando’s as he was just finished his meal and was about to leave, imagine our excitement of meeting one of the all-time greatest cricketers.
We gingerly walked up to Sachin
“Sachin Sir…we are your greatest fans”
we breathlessly and nervously chanted in unison
“Can we have an autograph and a photo”
Sachin turns around from the people he was having an animated conversation with and said
“get lost yar…I am busy”
the words hung in the air like a bad smell, maybe we did not hear right or got lost in translation.
“Mr Tandulkar can we atleast shake your hand”
Sachin just looked at us aloofly and brushed our hands away and walked past.
To say that we were disappointed is an understatement, any enthusiasm for messers Sachin Tendulkar drained away from us like shaving foam in a sink.
We found out the hard way to never meet your heroes.
This week I was with Shai Foodwala and we visited one of our culinary heroes, Six by Nico
We walked into the restaurant and it was full of couples reverently sitting at the tables, there was a weird absence of conversation and atmosphere.
as if they were waiting to worship at the altar of Nico Simione.
The menu on this occasion was titled “Guilty Pleasures” and it was described as
“Prepare for 6-courses of pure indulgence, inspired by moments we all long to enjoy…
From staying in pajamas all day to binge-watching your favorite tv shows, or enjoying breakfast for dinner, or even singing cheesy pop songs we all have a secret guilty pleasure that we are not so quick to share…
However, with our next six-course tasting experience we invite you to embrace and celebrate your guiltiest pleasures with a complete disregard for what others may think!”
We kicked off the Six-course tasting menu…hence Six by Nico, with an amuse-bouche of potato Croquettes, with a dollop of white grape sauce.
The Croquettes were a little boring but tasted decent, I would not say they were fantastic, not poor, they existed as Croquettes.
The first official course was the “spaghetti Loops” and my expectations came to a crash, this was bland and boring, I don’t know whose guilty pleasure is spaghetti hoops but certainly not mine.
Round 2, Straight from the Can, Ceviche Of Tuna, Pickled Watermelon, Tokyo Turnip, Bonito, Dashi Jelly & Avocado Puree.
Sound delicious but in reality, it was not what I was expecting, Ceviche is fish in citrusy “tiger Juice” where the fish is slightly cured by the acidity, In my humble opinion this missed the mark as the dense Tuna needed some acidity to cut it but was lacking, the trace of watermelon did not help.
Course 3…Thankfully things started to get better, next up was the “Lamb Kebab” the spiced lamb belly kebab was cooked en point and the
Pickled White Cabbage, Rose Harissa Emulsion & Cucumber Chutney was a refreshing and imaginative accompaniment to the lamb.
Course 4…The mini Fish Supper was a tongue in cheek reference of fish and chips, the Scrabster Cod was delicious and well seasoned, and replacing the chips was
Caramelised Cauliflower, Curry Sauce, Caper & Raisin.
Definitely an imaginative, delicious, and playful take on Fish and Chips.
Course 5 was Nicos Fried Chicken, I was fried chicken but not as you know it,
Chicken, Nfc Crumb, Leg Roulade, Barbecue Corn, Hen Of The Woods & Black Garlic Emulsion. essentially it was a deconstructed chicken in its elements and cooked in different ways, sounds a bit weird but tasted delicious.
Course 6, was my favorite..Chocolate & Praline Cremeux, Sour Cherry, Stroopwafel & Creme Fraiche, simply irresistible and yummy
the Cremeux was creamy and had a smooth chocolate moose, which was accompanied cleverly with sour cherry sorbet, a nice combination.
The meal started off unsure, it was bland and boring
However by the 3rd course it actually got a lot better, I became a believer in what Six by Nico was trying to achieve.
There was a lot of imagination in the execution and the ingredients.
The temperature of the food was inconsistent, some elements were hot some were cold
The service was a little too efficient and felt a little rushed and conveyor belt-like.
With Six by Nico scaling up and opening numerous restaurants nationwide it has lost its authenticity and quirkiness and becoming an another chain restaurant
The Star of the Meal?
My star of the meal would be the Nicos fried chicken.
The miss of the Meal?
On this occasion, I have two misses, the spaghetti hoops and the straight from the can.
So how did Six by Nicos do against its peers?
Well, the peer is actually next door … Crabshak, Crabshak was in my opinion better in its selection of ingredients, service and taste.
Six by Nico, possible takes the imagination and creativity points
all in all, I would go for Crabshak.