April 29, 2022
Ancient Rome arrives at ‘Six by Nico’ Canary Wharf
Everyone knows that Ancient Rome has a history of food, in fact many of their pursuits and lifestyle evolved from what they put in their stomachs! Even today, discerning diners eat the modernist version of the same style of food produced thousands of years ago, but with less ‘crudity’ and certainly more refinement.
Only Nico can repeat history the way it should be told – through food. Often creating a themed menu, they have done it again. You can easily immerse yourself in one of their special inclusive menus most times of the year – but this taste of Rome was unbelievable with 6 amazing courses. Open from 12 noon to 6pm, you can dine like an emperor if you have the stamina during the lunchtime period!
The team behind this Italian fare spent copious days and hours, trawling through old cook books for recipes that they could adapt to modern day, without too many changes and consequently Nico Simeone (chef patron) and his band of ‘centurions’ came up with an authentically created meal with a diversity of flavours and style that only the Romans can do.
No Italian meal would be complete without pasta, in this case nice and crispy tossed in Parmesan Royale and black pepper, served as Course 1. In course 11, delicious white asparagus and duck eggs make an appearance adorned with a glorious hazelnut and brown butter, giving the dish a slightly nutty taste against the rich asparagus and golden duck egg. Course 111 accentuates vegetables in the form of roasted hispi cabbage and deep and earthy chanterelle mushrooms, which have been pickled to perfection. A touch of truffle foam and grated pecorino complete this mouthwatering course.
If you were waiting for fish, it certainly is worth the wait – Course IV triumphed soft and melt-in-your mouth sole accompanied with smoked mussels, lovage, white turnip and mussel cream, so generous in flavour and an absolute winner of a dish. By this time, our mouths had a thousand flavours dancing around and our stomachs were beginning to groan a little. Course V, of course, could not be missed, as we tucked into pork fillet with turned rib, a mix of cured meats and that wonderful taste of ‘aniseedy’ fennel. The date and apple compote provided just that little hint of sweetness and was a perfect foil for the dish. Now we were totally aware of the phrase ‘an army marches on its stomach’ – probably why the Romans were such conquerors of foreign lands!
The traditional English way of a set meal will also have the words ‘starter, main and dessert on the menu – however, the Romans considered dessert almost as a second meal, such was the complexity but creativity of what we saw in front of us. Course V1 was very much a marvellous balance of sweet vs. the other taste sensations and certainly the honey parfait, ricotta cheese mousse, preserved quince and the ‘fruity’ addition of fizzy Muscat grapes, pear and citrus was so well-balanced and an absolute masterclass in dessert making. A delicate honey tuile topped it off – what a marvel.
To say we somewhat crawled out of Ancient Rome and Six by Nico is an understatement, but this fulfilling experience needs to be shouted about. Whatever you do, don’t miss it, grab your toga and get their pronto! Do check their availability as it does get busy.
A: Chancellor Passage, London E14 5EA
T: 020 3912 3334
W: Six by Nico
Written by Rafa Zurita for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International