Restaurant Profile Summer 2019: Six by Nico, Belfast
Nico Simeone, chef and owner, talks to HRNI
WHEN DID YOUR RESTAURANT OPEN?
Six by Nico Belfast opened on March 5. I was inspired to open after making many trips to Belfast and spending time there. There are a lot of similarities to Glasgow, which is where I live and where I have another restaurant.
TELL US ABOUT THE SPACE YOU HAVE
Six by Nico is located in one of the best spots in the city. It’s in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter which is a real hub of activity. It’s right next to lots of bars and nightlife, so it is perfect in terms of being a destination as part of people’s nights out. We have two open plan kitchens to allow our guests to be part of the cooking experience and they can get an insight into how the chefs prepare the dishes for the pass. We can cater for 73 covers during a sitting and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.
WHAT FEEL ARE YOU AIMING FOR?
I wanted to create a fun and exciting environment that was easily accessible to everyone. I wanted to make sure it was laid back with a feel-good atmosphere.
WHAT’S ON YOUR MENU?
Each menu is themed around memories, ideas and is designed to provoke emotion so that our guests have a connection with their food. Our current menu is Catalonia, and the dishes are typical of the Spanish region. Catalonia has a reputation for producing some of Spain’s finest cuisine. The region produces a variety of fresh, high-quality seafood, meat, poultry, game, fruit and vegetables and, on a recent trip, our team met the proud people behind the food, heard some fascinating stories, and experienced age-old Catalonian traditions. Our menu developed from there.
DOES YOUR MENU CHANGE OFTEN?
Every six weeks. We do this to keep the menu fresh, new and exciting. It’s a challenge as we have to reinvent ourselves every six weeks.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO TO IMPROVE AND DRIVE YOUR MENU?
The main thing about developing ideas for the menu is that we involve the whole team. It’s not just myself as I have a fantastic creative team behind me and very talented chefs. Everyone bounces their ideas off one another and ideas create ideas.
WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS?
It varies, it is a very wide demographic as we aim to be accessible to everyone. Our conceptual dining experience allows us to cater for everyone and the tasting menu is priced to be very affordable as we want everyone to experience it.
HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR RESTAURANT STAND OUT FROM COMPETITORS?
We are reinventing ourselves every six weeks when we change the menu, so it keeps it really exciting for our guests. It tends to encourage people to come and try out the latest menu and I think having the menu based around themes really connects with people. We want to connect the food with people’s memories and emotions. Our price point is very reasonable. The six-course tasting menu is £28 and, if you want to pair with wine, it is an additional £25.
HOW IS TRADE?
We opened in March 2019 and we are very happy with how it has gone so far. The restaurant and novel concept has been very well received, so we just want to keep working hard and keep the momentum going. We had over 5,000 bookings in the first few weeks of opening which we’re delighted about.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR RESTAURANT DEVELOPING THIS YEAR?
We always challenge ourselves to improve on the previous menu, so we want to push harder, invest more and develop our ideas. Being able to make the next menu more exciting and more memorable than the last is what we love.
23-31 Waring Street, Belfast
Tel: 028 90329467
Email: [email protected]