After starting out life in Glasgow only five years ago, Six by Nico has already gained iconic status across the UK. But if you haven’t heard about it? Nico Simeone and his team create a new, themed menu every six weeks, with past subjects being Hollywood, childhood and even the humble chippy. He now holds nine restaurants under his belt, including two in London. I’ve been intrigued by his unique goings-on for a long time now, so I couldn’t help myself but try out the From Miami to Ibiza tasting menu (£44) with paired wines (an extra £35) at the Canary Wharf outpost.
I rarely visit Canary Wharf - I've just always had it in my mind that it's a business-centric concrete jungle. But I was actually delightfully surprised at how pretty it was on my visit. Six by Nico is nestled on the river bank, so I got to walk along the water as it shimmered in the sunshine. On entry, you're greeted by the calming scents wafting from the reed diffusers, as well as the friendly hostesses who are all wearing flowing white dresses. After settling into a comfortable booth at the back of the restaurant, I had a quick look around. It had serious New York loft vibes - think industrial-chic interiors, with untreated bronze walls, marble-style tables and monochromatic artwork.
While I couldn't wait to dive into the six scrumptious-sounding courses, we decided to kick things off with a couple of the Miami Vice (£7.50 each) aperitifs. Made up of strawberry, lime, pineapple liqueur, rum and coconut mist, this tasted like a more subtle take on the piña colada. We tipped this back while munching on some snacks, which included padron peppers sprinkled with smoked sea salt and pan con tomate (£6.50), both dipped in aioli and La Barca olive oil. After scoffing these down, we couldn't help but feel like we'd been transported to sunnier climes.
Shortly after the nibbles, we received the first of our many courses, the Ibiza Sunset. I applaud the name, as this honestly looked just like an actual sunset. It was also a gorgeous marriage of Spanish flavours - paella bombas in a bath of roasted pepper sauce, topped with a slice of crispy chorizo and a squeeze of saffron aioli. Next up, we received the Miami Beach. This included seared tuna loin accompanied by a bonito emulsion, charred cucumber chunks and a chilli ponzu dressing. As you can imagine, this went in a quick second. It was paired with a small glass of The Dot Austrian Nut, a citrusy Pinot Blanc that really brightened the flavours of the food.
While the next course didn't excite me on the menu, it was actually my favourite of the lot. The Cuban was like an upmarket twist on your classic sarnie, showcasing some of the juiciest pork I had ever tasted pressed between two crispy wafers. It was buttery and melt in the mouth, plus went really well with the mustard emulsion, gherkin relish, choucroute and pickle. To wash it down? Campo Nueva Viura - a cracking, dry white that really cut through the richness of the dish.
The fourth course, Es Vedra, was the one I was initially looking forward to the most, but I think it should have been somewhere else in the menu - it was too tame after the previous dish. It was a combination of fried sea bass, halved white grapes, beach herbs, smoked potato and ajo blanco, matched with a glass of Gozatu Txakoli. Our final savoury dish was the Churrasco, a stunning combination of beef rump cap, barbecue rib, smoked emulsion, onion and chimichurri. The meat was incredible - so tender and flavoursome that I didn't want it to finish. This was amplified by the Merlot 2015 (from Irgu, Burgum), a luscious, full bodied red.
Finally, our sweet tooths were appeased by the Little Havana. Not only was this gorgeous to look at, but a totally wicked union of tastes. The coconut and rum parfait (that was perfectly set with that all-important jiggle) calmed the intensity of the passionfruit mousse. And the crunch of the marinated pineapple and brandy snap cigar was beaut. This was all intensified by the lip-smacking white chocolate namelaka and pina colada cream. And while I don't usually like sweet wine, the Moscatel de Setubal went down an absolute treat.
The DesignMyNight Digest
What I really loved about this is that it wasn't just a meal out, it was a proper dining experience. Spread over three hours (which flew by), I got to feel like I was abroad for the evening, indulging in the summery flavours of Ibiza and Miami. I also thought the wine pairings were perfect, each completing the dish as if they were a component themselves. Plus, with six courses available for just £44, I believe that's pretty good value for such pretty, high-quality grub.
💰 The damage: £186 for two with paired wines, a cocktail and snacks.
📍 The location: 6 Chancellor Passage, Canary Wharf, E14 5AE.
👌 Perfect for: Unique date nights.
⭐ Need to know: The menu changes every six weeks, so keep an eye out on their website or socials for updates.