Salt Bae slashes prices at London restaurant

Flamboyant restaurateur launches cut-price lunch menu at Nusr-Et Steakhouse after torrent of bad reviews

The golden steak is one of Salt Bae’s signature dishes. Photo: Instagram / @nusr_et
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The controversial restaurateur Salt Bae has reduced some prices of dishes at his Nusr-Et Steakhouse in London's upmarket Knightsbridge area.

While the priciest item on the menu, a £1,450 ($1,860) giant tomahawk steak covered with edible gold leaf, is still available, the restaurant has introduced a lunchtime set menu for a more modest £39.

There will also be a burger for £45, four pieces of sushi for £23 and a taco burger for £25.

Since the London steakhouse opened in 2021, some diners have spent thousands of pounds on meals involving the gilded signature meat dishes.

Nusr-Et's website's describes the menu, dishes and their presentation as "crazy", but does not list the prices.

Also, since Nusr-Et opened its doors to London's well-heeled celebrity diners in September 2021, intervening geopolitical and economic developments have pushed the price of gold about 18 per cent higher.

In recent years, customers have taken to social media to share their outrage at the prices.

Golden meat

In 2021, one diner posted his £37,023.10 bill on social media, top of which was a £850 golden tomahawk steak.

In fairness, wine worth more than £30,000 was charged to the bill, which also included a service charge of more £5,000.

Salt Bae, whose real name is Nusret Gokce, became an internet sensation in 2017 after a series of videos went viral with footage of the Turkish chef cutting meat and sprinkling salt.

He opened his first Nusr-Et restaurant in 2010 in Istanbul and currently owns 22 steakhouses across the world, including in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jeddah and Doha. There are two branches in New York and others in Beverly Hills, Las Vegas and Miami.

'Probably the worst restaurant I’ve visited'

The introduction of the cut-price lunchtime menu at Nusr-Et London may have been a reaction to fewer customers being prepared to spend huge sums on eating out given the UK's experience of soaring inflation, high energy prices and increasing interest rates in recent times – at the extreme end, £37,023.10 was 15 per cent more than the average annual salary in the UK at the time.

However, the revised prices could also be in response to a significant backlash on social media.

One diner who visited London last month took to Trip Advisor to claim that Nusr-Et was "probably the worst restaurant I’ve visited".

They added: "Absolute rip off. Overpriced food at its finest. Would rather go McDonald’s."

'Beautiful place, beautiful staff'

Another who dined at Nusr-Et this month complained that the food was overpriced and the service average "as we had items we didn’t order delivered to us and the wait was quite long, which was unnecessary as the restaurant wasn’t busy at all".

Meanwhile, others found Nusr-Et to be a "beautiful place" with "beautiful staff" and "very, very good food".

Others told Trip Advisor the new three-course lunch menu had "exceeded expectations" and that they "would love to visit again".

As of Monday, Nusr-Et's Steakhouse London had 86 "excellent" reviews on Trip Advisor and 115 in the "terrible" category.

Updated: July 24, 2023, 11:29 AM