Review of the 'Circus' menu from Six by Nico
By Sharon Wilson
Lockdown has seen our appreciation of hospitality soar. We have gazed on in awe as hard-working actors have performed feats of survival and realized how important restaurants are. Not just the food but meeting friends, the theater, the anticipation. So, when I roll up with Kate at Six by Nico to try the Circus menu, we are already excited and maverick chef Nico Simeone does not disappoint.
Since arriving on the food scene a few years ago with 'The Chippy' Nico has kept us captivated with themed six-coursers that have included Orient Express, Mad Hatter's Tea Party, Holy Guacamole and more.
The ‘Circus’ is a big top full of colourful ingredients, creativity and fun. Pressed peach with chicken liver parfait whipped to a silky consistency is served in a paper popcorn cup with crispy waffles for our first course. The peach and parfait perform magic-in-the-mouth.
A mocktail comprising rhubarb cordial, rose water, lime and ‘fizz’ is inspirational. The lime cleverly concentrates the other flavours and bespoke drinks have been created to complement each course.
The action intensifies with ‘Candy Butchers’ – beef tartare, burger sauce, aged Parmesan and pickled cucumber; the dish is juicy, umami-filled and piquant.
The ‘Illusionist’ course presents Chicken Ballotine albeit in a scallop shell. As with the beef, the meat is uber-juicy and caper and raisin puree to the side lends a sweet and salty Mediterranean/North African twist .
A‘Crab’atics is a dish of moist sole paired with crab-stuffed al dente tortellini. Kate and I marvel at the thought and preparation that has gone into every detail of each course.
When you think it can’t get better ‘The Greatest Show’ is unveiled. Rosy, duck breast under a glass dome of smoke with Savoy cabbage and wild garlic. A ramekin of duck ragout with a thick layer of black truffle emulsion has me diving in like a clown meeting custard pie. Indulgent, rich and hedonistic.
A fluff of candy floss crowns rhubarb that has been poached to retain a little bite. Blobs of peanut shaped and flavored parfait are by turns, creamy, nutty and sweet.
It should be mentioned that Kate has chosen vegetarian options for three of the six courses and the staff accommodate this with aplomb; at one point she drops a napkin and it is swooped on and replaced almost before she notices. Service is exemplary.
The ‘Circus’ menu delivers the drama and precision of the tightrope and trapeze; hats off to everyone involved in this culinary production.
The Circus menu runs until June 6 and is £32.