Salt Bae, the Turkish restaurateur and living meme otherwise known as Nusret Gökçe, has just opened a Nusr-Et Steakhouse in New York, his second in the US and one of 10 worldwide, and many critics have been left with a decidedly bitter taste in their mouths after eating there.
Joshua David Stein at GQ describes long waits, terrible cocktails and “Mundane, somewhat tough and rather bland” steak at the Midtown Manhattan restaurant, while also noting it's refusal to serve tap water. Over at Eater, Robert Sietsama describes the steak as “rubbery and low on flavour,” while in reference to Salt Bae’s apperance at their table to perform his now infamous cutting and salting routine, “We’d already seen it so many times before, on our cell phones and now in person, that it seemed a little stale.”
The prices are hefty too, with a ribeye Tomahawk topping the list at $275 without sides. Stein calls this “absurdly expensive, even by New York City steakhouse standards,” while over at the New York Post, a livid Steve Cuozzo describes Nusr-Et as “Public Rip-off No. 1.” “An up-and-mostly down meal for three, where each of us had just one cocktail and one glass of bad wine each, cost a whopping $521.45 — and left us craving a snack,” he writes, a sentiment echoed by Stein, who “went away still hungry” having spent “$320 for two, including a rather small glass of red Turkish wine for each of us.”
Of course, most people won’t be going to Nusr-Et for the food, but how much life does the meme of 2017 really have left in it/him? Cementing a bad week for Gökçe, one of his most recent Instagram posts, which shows him stuffing a beef tenderloin with American cheese and what looks like raw asparagus, has received a decidedly mixed reaction from fans. One suspects this may bother him way more than what the critics have to say.
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