Restaurant of the Week: Six by Nico
Our restaurant of the week is the ever-changing Six by Nico in Canary Wharf
Restaurant Review: Six by Nico
Canary Wharf is a concrete jungle, where sky high offices and apartment blocks tower over the docks below. In the day it’s filled with professionals hurrying between meetings, dressed in smart suits and polished shoes; at night it becomes quieter. The sound of the docks lapping up to the shore can be heard, while office lights gradually dim and then disappear.
An evening like this is a perfect time to visit Six by Nico. It sits tucked away on a riverside corner, overlooking the docks. As you approach you will hear a soft buzz from inside, and once you open the door the restaurant swings to life. On entering, a gorgeous aroma will greet you – and no, it’s not just the food: Six by Nico has its own signature fragrance. This is just one example of its ethos: that a meal out is more than just about the food. Rather, it’s a combination of smells, sight, taste and the memories that these conjure up.
This belief is epitomised in its operation as a restaurant that exclusively offers a tasting menu, which changes every six weeks. Every menu is inspired by a different theme or memory, with past examples including anything from ‘New York’ to ‘Guilty Pleasures’ and the latest being its special festive menu ‘Miracle On’.
The interior reflects the menu’s contemporary and creative vibe. There are filament light bulbs strung loosely around chocolate coloured wooden beams above, and an abundance of leafy green plants perched on shelves throughout. The walls are painted a slick black, the ceiling is white, and a chessboard walkway runs alongside the serving hatch.
The decision to put the serving hatch beside the diners adds to the intimate feel of the restaurant, and facilitates Six by Nico’s belief in creating a relationship between chef and customer. The tasting menu, since it allows chefs’ complete control over the diner’s experience, requires a degree of trust from the customer.
The menu has been meticulously planned to ensure a sensual sensation; there’s six courses included in the very reasonably priced £37 menu – with an option to go vegetarian. However, we’d recommend adding the snack to share at the beginning. Ours was soft sourdough bread with spiced chicken butter and delicious smoked ham wrapped in pancetta ballotine croquettes – the latter firmly fixed in our memory as the best croquette we’ve ever eaten. Similarly, the dessert at the end, consisting of Dulce de Leche Mousseline, sour cherry, white glacage, hazelnut and chocolate Aero, was supremely delicious.
There were many bold choices throughout the menu: combining ham with pancetta, for instance, could have been too rich, but they complemented each other well. Similarly, the blending of partridge, duck and chicken in the Boudin might raise eyebrows, but the result was delicious, with each meat being cooked to perfection.
Each course is given a playful name with just a simple list of the ingredients used below which creates an air of eager anticipation for the arrival of each dish. Namely, to see the innovative method used for each course. From the first course’s title, ‘Memories of a Christmas Market’, we expected the aim to be to evoke memories of being in a warm and bustling Christmas market filled with salty and smoky smells; it arrived as chunks of sausage and onion compote, smoked sausage, crispy potatoes and shallots all within a warm creamy foamy soup. This one did not disappoint.
What was particularly impressive throughout was the utilisation of contrasting and complementary textures, flavours and colours. In the ‘Smoked Salmon Bilini’ course, for example, the crisp of the kale contrasted the creaminess of the potato bilini foam, the saltiness of the hot smoked salmon, the acidity and crunch of the diced apple, before the pop of the caviar at the end. Likewise, the ‘Who Doesn’t Like Brussel Sprouts’ course was a soft tartare style mushroom patty, covered with a ewes cheese crisp, runny confit egg, rubbery Brussels sprout tops and sticky fermented black garlic. The result for each was a tantalising sensation for the senses.
All in all, Six by Nico offers a really fresh and exciting take on a tasting menu for those who believe dining out should be a unique experience. Each course will surprise and impress you, with dedicated focus on combining and contrasting exciting flavours, textures and ingredients. And since the menu changes every six weeks, you’ll always have a reason to return.
You might also like...