THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
HOME-X is the lockdown metamorphosis of Six by Nico. Spearheaded by Chef Nico Simeone, the restaurant chain first opened in Glasgow and now boasts 6 locations. The London branch opened last summer, enjoying only 3 months before lockdown 2. Like so many in hospitality, Nico and his team had to mother some invention pretty quickly. Thus, a nationwide home delivery service was born.
There are quite a few, ever-changing options on the website. I was invited to try their Sunday roast chicken (£55 for 2), a team effort with another Glaswegian, Chef Joe Lazzerini from the gastropub, The Loveable Rogue. The idea is to offer restaurant quality food that can be prepared and plated at home so one can experience “the luxury of a lazy Sunday”. It was indeed a wonderful meal. The lazy part eluded me. To prepare the meal you will need:
1 hour and 15 minutes cooking time + a good 30 minutes to organize yourself beforehand and another 30 for the pile of washing up.
None of this information is readily available on the website.
On the plus side, you get a quality Sunday roast with all the trimmings for about a quarter of the work.
The starter is a caramelized cauliflower and apple velouté with croutons and an apple and curry dressing. It was superb! Perfectly creamy and beautifully balanced with fresh, tart apple and the crunch of croutons.
The roast chicken is excellent quality and more than enough for 2. The cooking instructions were spot on, yielding a beautifully crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. The chicken sauce (I call it GRAVY!) was a flavorful, salty reduction.
The Yorkshire puddings didn’t rise at all. The batter looked a bit thin to me, so I was dubious at the outset. I make them from scratch all the time, so I know all the tricks. These were flat as pancakes. They tasted good anyway, especially soaked in GRAVY!
Beef fat roast potatoes and honey glazed root vegetables were just as they should be. Cauliflower cheese with a cheddar and herb crumb was missing the latter which accounted for the cheese deficit. Instead, I enjoyed a very good cauliflower gratin.
A celeriac and carrot écrasé (crushed) with a chive and carrot crumb was another highlight. Simple and super tasty.
For dessert, a Williams pear and vanilla custard trifle with almond crumb was just right. Light, sweet, fragrant, and delicious. It comes in good quality, lidded glass jars that I will happily reuse.
All the packaging is excellent and recyclable with insulation and ice packs to keep everything fresh.
I admire what Nico and his team have done. With teamwork and creativity, they have survived the pandemic with panache, and I suspect HOME-X will continue to hatch culinary butterflies long after we’ve all been vaccinated. And me? I will look forward to cocooning myself in the new Six by Nico!