It seems like everyone has their 15 minutes of fame, but some manage to capitalise on it better than others.
Salt Bae was one of 2017’s biggest memes – real name Nusret Gökçe – and the Turkish chef has proven pretty popular with celebs like Leo DiCaprio.
That’s all well and good, but restaurant critics make their living from chopping establishments down to size, and Salt Bae’s new gig is no different.
He recently opened one of his Nusr-Et steakhouses in New York City, to go with his eight others around the world, and the crowds came flooding in to catch a glimpse of the pseudo-celeb.
The food critics soon followed, and let’s just say their reviews are a little, um, salty.
Side note – food critics might be nasty, but they have nothing on the people of Facebook. You did read that story about La Perla, right?
Anyway, those stinging reviews via TIME:
Eater‘s critic Robert Sietsema declares Salt Bae’s iconic steak “a little rubbery and low on flavor” while also noting that even though his tab clocked in at a hot $320 for two people, his party went home hungry. Sietsema wasn’t the only one disgruntled by the price of seeing Salt Bae in the flesh; at GQ, Joshua David Stein bemoaned the lack of free tap water, eventually caving to forking over almost a ten-note for water for the table and a hefty bill for mediocre food and a fleeting moment with the social media doyen himself.
“Is the steak transcendent? No, the steak is mundane, somewhat tough and rather bland,” Stein writes. “The hamburger is overcooked. The tartare is over-chopped. The cocktails are terrible and the water—which we ended up buying—is $9 and does little to quench our thirst. Does that matter? It does not matter. One does not visit Salt Bae for steak alone any more than one goes to Mass for the wafers.”
That’s not a good look at all, and we’ll leave the final word to New York Post critic Steve Cuozzo:
[He begins] by calling it “Public Rip-off No. 1,” and going on to describe a $130 “shoe-leather-tough bone-in ribeye, which, for extra fun, was loaded with gruesome globs of fat.” His closing thoughts included a desire for “more substance” and “dishes that not only sultans can afford.”
Call me a cynic, but in the age of ‘social media likes above substance’ I reckon peeps will still flock through the doors.
An Instagram snap with the Salt Bae gonna rack up them likes, yo.
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