The butcher-turned-salt-sprinkling-Instagram-sensation — Nusret Gökçe, aka Salt Bae — will open a branch of his Nusr-Et Steakhouse on London’s Knightsbridge this year. Just over a year after the news broke that the chef would be expanding to the UK — and despite rumours that it would replace One O One Restaurant — Hot Dinners and London The Inside (consistent with a July story by MCA) are reporting that Gökçe will open at The Park Tower Knightsbridge Hotel in December 2019.
Nusr-Et’s team did not immediately confirm this to Eater London when contacted. But following a launch in Miami last November, the group has just opened a restaurant in New York City, which as well as having mixed reviews, Gökçe’s style of service and meat handling has also caused some to question whether he is in violation of the city’s health codes.
Although Gökçe was already widely followed in the Middle East, it was an Instagram video posted early last January (and now viewed over 16 million times) that sent his face and trademark seasoning technique viral. Subsequently, his image became a global brand, with Justin Beiber imitating the pose on a yacht, Rhianna wearing a t-shirt sporting Gökçe’s face and elite football players, such as Danny Welbeck at Arsenal, mimicking the sprinkle to celebrate a goal.
Although it was widely reported last year that the chef does not speak English, he has asserted that he is able to “communicate to people through meat.” Expensive meat, too — some cuts are reportedly being sold for up to £250 and Eater NY’s Robert Sietsema left hungry despite spending $320 on a meal for two.
Remarkably, Gökçe has turned the act of slicing meat into over-acted theatre and, with a cocked elbow, created a completely original, if entirely bizarre, method of sprinkling salt. The internet loved it. There is no question that London’s camera phones will love it in real life too. Whether the restaurant is any good might be a moot point.