We Took A Trip To Hanoi Via Canary Wharf With A Themed Six-Course Tasting Menu

"Canary Wharf is the epitome of a concrete jungle, scratch that, a concrete maze," I thought as I cut through contemporary art installations, swivelling around shopping centres and bars before eventually reaching my evening dining destination. I met my friend outside Six By Nico, a fun, modern restaurant from the brain of chef Nico Simone that encompasses storytelling through themed menus made up of six dishes, rotating every six weeks.

Previous concepts have revolved around the Mad Hatter's tea party and the humble fish and chips, but we were here to take a trip to Vietnam via the DLR. The Hanoi tasting menu, available from the 26th February to the 7th April, was inspired by the culinary teams’ trip to the city and their connections with locals.

Six By Nico London | DesignMyNight

The Six by Nico Canary Wharf menu never fails to surprise with its themed dishes.

The space was sleek and modern - I noticed an open kitchen animated with cooks meticulously plating ten of the same dish to the left of me as we were led to the back of the restaurant. Exposed bulbs hung from the ceiling, woven around chained, industrial beams, and there was a collection of sofas featuring monochrome, birdseye maps of the Thames which reminded me of the EastEnders opening credits, rather than the upmarket, metropolitan feel it could be trying to exude.

I selected the vegetarian tasting menu while my dinner date went for the classic (£48 each), both with wine pairings (£35 each), although I eat fish (and crispy prawns are essentially my kryptonite), so I swapped a few of my dishes with those from the classic menu. For our first course, we tucked into Bún Riêu, made with spiced butternut squash foam, crispy noodles and wild rice, which tasted incredibly light and nutty. 

The proceeding plate was a delicate display of Nem Rán, made up of crispy prawn nem rán, a spring roll, carrot and mool, alongside a glass of Le Cloitre. The lightly battered crustacean melted in my mouth, alongside flakes of the fresh roll which demanded a dash of wasabi to lift its subtle flavour. 

Six By Nico Canary Wharf | DesignMyNight

Watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen. 

I was looking forward to the third instalment of this culinary journey: Bún Nám with mushrooms, bánh phở noodles, coriander, beansprouts and crispy shallots alongside a Bordeaux Rosé AOC. Umami notes were the most prevalent as the tough noodles wilted, engulfed by a salty, full-bodied broth. Featuring succulent coal fish, elevated with Vietnamese curry and a fragrant coconut and coriander chutney, the Cha Cha La Vong followed and offered an uplifting medley of flavours – made even more refreshing by the crunchy bites of bok choy. It paired perfectly with the Muscat and Tamaiosa Romaneasca DOC, which brought complementary notes of pear.

At this point, we were beginning to get a little full, which was a surprise considering the modest portion sizes, however, there was no time to slow down as the penultimate plate was on its way: Gỏi Xoài, made up of crispy tofu, sweet potato hash, sesame broccoli and burnt mango. The flavours on this dish were subtle until you crossed paths with the mango and its mighty kick, which was balanced out by a glass of El Chocolatero

Six By Nico London Menu | DesignMyNight

Somebody's looking sixy: pretty plates are up for the munching. 

Regrets were starting to form concerning the optional add-on of tempura king prawns (£8 each) tossed in hot and sour pineapple, toasted sesame and papaya salsa: a completely unnecessary but thoroughly delicious decision. The addictiveness of the prawns was akin to that of popcorn chicken; we couldn’t help but go back for more, a slave to the golden beauties.

Finally, we made it to the sweet section of the Six By Nico menu. First, we were presented with a glass of Brachetto d’Acqui DOCG - a luminous, ruby red dessert wine which matched the colour of my top and tasted incredibly concentrated. Then arrived Bánh Trôi Tàu, a palm sugar delice, topped with two candied kumquats, alongside a scoop of lime and ginger mousse, which was finished off quickly by the pair of us. 

The DesignMyNight Digest

Six by Nico in London doesn’t disappoint when it comes to a dining experience with a twist - you’re taken on a tantalising taste journey from plate to plate, guided by knowledgeable staff, and it’s fun to get lost in a culinary story far removed from the streets of E14. Plus, the price tag is appealing considering the standard of food presented. I’d say it makes for a great date spot if you’re looking to impress without blowing your budget.

  💰 The damage:  £182 for two (excluding service charge).

  📍  The location: Chancellor Passage, E14 5EA.

  👌 Perfect for: Date night.

 ⭐ Need to know: Despite the servings being on the small side, they're filling.


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