Roll up, roll up! It is time to visit the circus. But instead of watching acrobats fly across the stage, or contortionists twist their bodies into unbelievable shapes, you’ll be going to a circus that will have your tastebuds somersaulting with excitement. Don’t worry, you won’t be doing any fire eating – this experience will be much more enjoyable for your senses: Six By Nico Canary Wharf‘s newest menu is inspired by the revelry of the circus.
If you’ve never heard of Six By Nico, let us fill you in. The fine-dining restaurant specialises in themed six-course set menus, which change every six weeks. It’s practically in the name, huh? The eatery is the brainchild of Nico Simeone, a Scottish-Italian chef, who grew up in Glasgow and opened his first restaurant, 111, in the city back in 2011. In the last 11 years, his portfolio of restaurants has grown substantially, and today, there are Six By Nico outposts in various cities all over the UK, with two in London.
Between July 18–August 29, you can indulge in the circus-themed menu at Six By Nico Canary Wharf, accompanied by a circus-themed aperitif cocktail, and wine pairings, if you so choose. The dishes aim to emulate the magical surroundings and awe-inspiring experience of visiting the circus, and hope to entertain you with their dishes. Six By Nico Canary Wharf is ideally placed just opposite the tube exit, on the right side of the Middle Dock water.
Outside the venue, the music pumps, while inside is quieter but still buzzing; it’s Friday feeling vibes but all through the week. Contrary to the generic expectation of a fine dining restaurant, the space is very welcoming. I particularly loved the London map print on the plush seats, and the flora-filled shelved that provide privacy between the different seating areas. If you can, try and nab a spot in the middle area, so you can admire the chefs at work in the open kitchen.
There are two menus to choose from: meat and vegetarian. The vegetarian option stays as close to the main menu as possible in name and presentation, but of course, with meat-free alternatives. We opted for the meat menu. The first course is ‘waffles and ice cream’, created using chicken liver parfait, compressed peach, and potato crisp. I can honestly say it is one of the most unique dishes I’ve ever tasted – in a good way. What it lacked in size, it most definitely made up for in taste and presentation, and really set the tone for the rest of the meal. Start as you mean to go on, right? The raspberries and peach cut through the richness of the chicken liver parfait and is a party of flavours in your mouth.
What follows is a series of courses that pair sweet fruit and savoury ingredients in beautiful, unique ways, each with a satisfying combination of textures. ‘Candy Butchers’ looks like a deconstructed burger, but it is made using beef tartare and the ‘cheese’ is actually an apricot (it is topped with parmesan though); while ‘The Illusionist’ is presented as scallops, but is actually chicken ballotine! Course four, ‘A-crab-atics’, features a delicious crab tortellini, paired with sole, crab bisque and bergamot gel, while course five – your final main dish – ‘The Greatest Show’, pulls together a rich duck ragu, a strong truffle flavour, and a soft prune that compliments the duck meat.
‘The Grand Finale’ rounded off the circus experience nicely; and personally, bookended the meal, alongside the starter, as my two favourite courses. Not only did it smell and look pretty, but the attention to detail was immense. What looks like solid candied peanuts was actually a smooth peanut butter parfait (the care it must have taken to shape the parfait is so impressive), and the deepness of peanut flavour against the sweet fruit amounted to a celebration of flavour. My only gripe with each course was that there wasn’t more, as the food was excellent. When it comes to the drinks, you’ll have plenty to enjoy.
You can opt to add wine pairings to each course for an additional cost, or scour the signature cocktail menu for your go-to drink. The food menu offers a dedicated aperitif too: the Cirque du Sidecar, which is presented like a margarita, but with a sugar rim instead, and has a very easy-to-drink apple juice taste.
The menus vary from city to city; so while circus is available at Six By Nico Canary Wharf, you’ll find other themed menus at different outposts in the UK. Other menu examples include From Miami to Ibiza, which featured courses spanning two continents, and Hanoi, heavily inspired by Thai cuisine. If you don’t want to venture out to other cities, or even leave the house, fear not: Home By Nico has pulled together menus inspired by the very best of international cuisine to create an at-home dining experience fit for royalty.