Six by Nico is taking the food scene by storm and the latest menu is possibly our favourite so far… Amy Hughes reports.
Nico Simeone is the Glaswegian chef behind the concept restaurant chain Six by Nico. The concept is simple: every six weeks a new six-course menu is revealed, themed upon a different place or memory. Previous inspirations have included Lisbon, Tokyo and ‘Childhood’, which delivered nostalgic foods served with a twist.
Simeone has previously worked at Michelin-starred Number One at Balmoral and Brian Maule’s acclaimed Chardon d’Or, and dining at Six is an affordable fine-dining experience surely influenced by this impressive history.
Street Food Tasting Menu
The menu changes every six months; when we visited the Canary Wharf restaurant, Street Food was the latest tasting menus. Diners are invited to embark on a ‘culinary expedition’ that pays homage to an array of flavours and delicacies that originated from local street food vendors from across the world. Presenting a medley of cultures, aromas, tastes and the usual skilful craftsmanship, this may just be our favourite menu yet.
Before we get into details, how much does a six-course menu in London cost? Well, here, it’s a very reasonably price £48 and just £35 extra for wine pairing. There is also the option to add a ‘snack’ or amuse-bouche (£5-£8), and an aperitif (from £9). Finally, there are always two menus available: the regular and a vegetarian-adapted version of the same themed menu. There’s not currently a vegan menu available, but we hope this will be something that’s more readily available soon.
Three courses from the Street Food Tasting Menu at Six by Nico
We visited the Canary Wharf restaurant which overlooks the water and seats 95 diners in the eclectically-designed space. From the moment you step inside, the team are ready to welcome you and guide you along the gastronomic adventure. As each dish comes sailing out of the kitchen, the waiter explains the intriguing construction on your plate in meticulous detail.
Our meal began with an aperitif – we enjoyed the Kyoto highball, with peach and jasmine flavours, and the Shanghai spritz – and a snack course of mac and cheese croquettes. Representing Los Angeles, the croquettes are served with chorizo emulsion and pickled gherkin relish which provides the perfect touch of tang to cut through the cheese. After suitably warming up our tastebuds, we were ready to begin the tasting menu.
The Tasting Menu Begins...
The gochujang pork steamed bun, inspired by Seoul, kicks things off with a bang. With a crisp outer shell which crumbles to reveal the soft inside, stuffed with pulled pork that is savoury, sweet and spicy all at once. The bun sits in a ginger and miso mushroom broth, adding an earthiness and salty umami flavour to the dish. We polished this off quickly and were soon on to the samosa, representing Goa. Served alongside a spiced onion and pickle relish, both the textures and flavours are perfectly balanced.
The following three courses take you from Istanbul to Jakarta, via a stop in Mexico City. First up, the lamb belly kebab is so tender it falls apart under your fork. Served alongside salsa verde, and a separate dish of roasted cabbage with pickled raisins and a roasted garlic foam, this course is packed with flavour and I only wish there was more of it (though I definitely wouldn’t have managed all the remaining courses). Heading over to Central America next, course two comprises a crisp taco filled with fish paste and topped with barbecue corn, a portion of coalfish and a smoked jalapeño and tomatillo salsa. Once again, textures and flavours harmonise perfectly and this Mexican moment leaves a lasting impression.
Save Some Space
The final stop on the savoury side of the journey is the largest of the courses, so make sure you save space. An Indonesian-inspired dish consisting of a piece of grilled chicken and a chicken leg roulade served with a satay sauce (this can be changed for a sesame sauce for those with a peanut allergy), pak choi and a tart shallot jam to cut through the savoury flavours. This course comes with an optional add-on too: for £9 extra, you can enjoy spicy and sour king prawns and a tempura fried prawn topped with papaya, peanut and sesame. As we say, make sure you leave enough room for this course as you won’t want to miss out on any of it.
Final Stop - Dessert
Last but by no means least, dessert sees one final stop in Hanoi. Cocoa mousseline is combined with rich coffee, super sweet leche and buttermilk. Complementing these smooth textures is the addition of wafers and other gems that you don’t notice until they crunch in your mouth. It is the perfect finale to a fantastic dining experience and although we were incredibly full by this point, there’s always space for dessert, isn’t there?
Overall, this might be one of our favourite menus at Six so far - but we're certain the 2024 menus will be equally as delicious!
Six at Nico Canary Wharf
Chancellor Passage, E14 5EA
Menu: to February 25th - Mad Hatter's Tea Party 6-Course Tasting Menu
Six at Nico Fitzrovia
41 Charlotte St, W1T 1RR
Menu: to February 25th - Funfair 6-Course Tasting Menu
To Book: https://www.sixbynico.co.uk/