Move over Salt Bae, looks like you’ve got some competition – in Uzbekistan.
On a recent visit to Tashkent, the restaurant Qanotchi was enthusiastically recommended by some locals. We arrived to find ourselves on a wait list, confirming the place’s popularity.
With the help of the combined English vocabulary of four different waiters, and a healthy dose of miming, we settled on the beef shoulder.
As Bad to the Bone rang out over the restaurant's sound system, a chef and a parade of servers delivered the dish to our table.
The chef enthusiastically explained that he was serving “sexy meat”. He removed the bones with finesse, and sliced and diced with a flourish.
Once he finished, this animated Uzbekistani chef did not hesitate to employ the signature move of chef Nusret Gokce, the viral social media star known as Salt Bae. He reached into a bowl of salt, raised his hand, and let the salt sprinkle down his forearm and onto the meat. Twice.
The similarities to Salt Bae’s Nusr-et restaurant experience ended when the bill arrived. At Qanotchi, a giant platter of meat, big bowl of salad, home fries, bread, a pitcher of lemonade and a pot of tea came in at under Dh200.
At its Abu Dhabi and Dubai branches, Nusr-et's steaks range from Dh315 to Dh1,250.