Food Review: Home by Nico
PUBLISHED: 15:20 18 November 2020 | UPDATED: 16:05 18 November 2020
Fresh, delicious and on your table precisely when you want it – the new Home by Nico dining experience is absolute bliss
Two years ago, almost exactly, I had my first Six by Nico experience, at the Manchester restaurant. It’s a clever concept, well-delivered – a new fixed menu each month, priced to enable foodies of all stripes, from gourmet aficionados to those on a less than expansive budget, to dine fine and never be bored. The atmosphere is lively and energetic, there’s nothing snooty or complicated, just really great food with a smart twist. This year, in the face of multiple lockdowns and a reduction on the number of covers they can possibly serve, due to the need for social distancing, the clever brains behind Six by Nico have come up with a smart solution that both keeps their chefs busy and their dining fans happy – Home by Nico.
Home by Nico is just one of several clever dining experiences offered on a new platform, HOME-X, spearheaded by Six by Nico, which includes a fully vegan dining experience, a wine club, a cheese club and more, and if the rest are half as good as Home by Nico, they are going to make a lot of people very happy.
Just as at the bricks-and-mortar restaurants, the Home by Nico menu changes each month – and November brings us all the freshness and spice of Bangkok, with a Thai meal of quite epic deliciousness.
The excitement starts early, with the arrival of a very visually satisfying black box. On lifting the lid, all the various dishes from the menu are laid out, in recyclable packaging, on top of reusable icepacks. Starters, main, pudding and a cheese course, plus a bottle of wine – and all for just £60 for two people. Cooking instructions couldn’t be less complicated. If you have an oven, a hob and a couple of saucepans you’re sorted. It’s worth saying now that there is a fully vegetarian option, if you should so wish.
Our started, Tom Yum soup with Prawn Dumplings, was heated through in a saucepan, before transferring to bowls and finishing with a scatter of fresh herbs. It was fabulous. I have to confess, Thai is my absolute favourite food and from the first taste of this soup I immediately began to mourn the fact that in just a few weeks’ time it will be off the Home by Nico menu. It’s also almost impossible to believe that Nico hasn’t lined up a kitchen filled with Thai chefs to make the dishes, they’re that good.
Have you tried the at home service from Northcote? It’s a fine dining experience you will love.
Our main course – Penang Chicken Curry – was equally good. Two chicken pieces painted with curry paste, roasted for 20 minutes in a hot oven, served with a rich and flavoursome red curry sauce, heated in a small pan on the hob and served with streamed jasmine rice (microwaved) and a cold Crispy Pork Pad Thai, dressed with Prik Nam Pla, crispy shallots and ground roasted peanuts. Really very good indeed.
The pudding, a coconut and cardamom rice pudding, with a mango coulis and a salted bean curd caramel, was far more up my street than my husband’s and did me breakfast next day, too. The best kind of doggy bag, one might say. He sated himself on more than his fair share of Landana 500 cheese though, with crackers and a freshly made pineapple and nigella seed chutney.
Accompanied by a chilled bottle of Le Sentier Blanc white wine, which was rounded and robust enough to stand up to the complex flavours of the menu, the whole experience was one of pure joy.
I miss dining out, I really do. The getting ready, the arrival at a busy, buzzy venue with a happy atmosphere, patrons chatting, servers bustling... it’s something I cannot wait to do again once this is all over, but I have to say there’s an awful lot to be said for the clever alternative offered by Home by Nico. For one, I don’t have to gallop home from work, throw on a fresh outfit, apply fresh makeup and tell the kids their dinner is in the freezer. Secondly, we can dine at our own pace, happily reading the instructions together and being quite chuffed with what we’ve produced, even though all we did was heat it through.
And for £60 for two people, with a bottle of wine, it’s unarguably great value for money. And no arguments over whose turn it is to drive home.
I can’t wait to see next month’s menu, and, in the meantime, I have several more opportunities to enjoy a trip to Bangkok, as this menu is available right through December. Happy days.
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