Whether you lust over him in Emily In Paris or have been a fan since Waterloo Road and Big Brother days, actor Lucien Laviscount is a man of many talents: most recently, he has opened a new bar. Laviscount has teamed up with restaurateur Zac Lichman and head chef Gareth Drew (formerly at Nobu London and Buddha Bar) to launch their second spot together: The Wealthy Beggar.
Setting up shop in Kensal Rise, The Wealthy Beggar offers a creative cocktail menu and seasonal dishes across their two floors, and by their own admission, are aiming to be the area’s go-to ‘five-star dive bar‘. Over the next few months, the team will host regular quiz nights, weekend parties, and much more. We took a visit and here’s what we thought.
The Wealthy Beggar review
For you Emily in Paris fans, no, Lucien doesn’t greet you on arrival at this bar. However, as you enter into this high-end-meets-urban, Pan-Asian bar-restaurant, you’ll see how the spot got its name. The Wealthy Beggar pairs chandeliers and red velvet seats side by side with graffiti sprawled, exposed brick wall. The low candlelight and vinyl records playing 70s disco makes for a speakeasy cocktail bar atmosphere – made even better by the impressive drinks list that any cocktail fan would be thoroughly pleased with. All named after phrases customary to a wealthy beggar such as ‘Pick Pocket’, ‘Flat Cap’ and ‘Velvet Hand’, we went for the citrussy vodka based ‘Lucky Penny’ and sparkling wine and brandy based floral ‘Velvet Hand’.
The drinks refresh you nicely, especially when enjoyed alongside the Pan-Asian feast of food available that, as head chef Gareth tells us, is a mixture of ‘wealthy’ and ‘beggar’. Making up the former, there is a wagyu tartare; yuzu and caviar; and Langoustine tartare, served with parmesan hijiki tuile and sake bisque foam – they were all as impressive and exquisite as they sound. The truffle miso whipped foie gras on the melt-in-your-mouth wagyu tartare was a particular favourite.
The ‘beggar’ section of the menu includes a selection of sushi maki rolls, dim sum and tacos, but that’s not to say they are any less impressive! The imagination and eccentricity of each of these dishes inspires surprise and delight – shown in the beef burger dumplings with kimchi ketchup, the incredibly soft charred fish with cabbage avocado and jalapeño sauce taco, and the whimsical dragon shaped prawn, cucumber and avocado dragon roll complete with siracha mayo eyes.
To round off your culinary journey, Jack (the bar manager) tells us it’s custom to have a lemon margarita shot after the meal, which goes down smoothly, unlike the shots you’d down while wincing at the work Christmas party.
So, the next time you’re in North West London looking for somewhere to escape the cold with a great atmosphere, and even better food and drinks offering, get yourselves over to The Wealthy Beggar – j’adore the place.