Nusr-Et: an Instagram chain arrives in London
Internet sensation Nusret Gökçe - aka ‘Salt Bae’ - opens his new steakhouse in May
On 17 May, a new steakhouse is due to launch in London’s Knightsbridge, “the spiritual home of the one percenters”, said Tomé Morrissy-Swan in The Daily Telegraph. Although its name, Nusr-Et, may not be familiar, there’s a good chance that its owner’s face will “ring a bell”.
For he is Nusret Gökçe, aka “Salt Bae”, a Turkish butcher whose flamboyant ways with steak have earned him almost 34 million followers on Instagram. Five years ago, Gökçe’s restaurant business was a “small chain”, with branches in Turkey and Dubai. Then a video of him displaying his signature move – “cocking his arm like a goose neck and sprinkling salt over meat from a great height” – went viral, and he became an internet sensation.
Since then, Nusr-Et has expanded fast: it now has 17 branches across the US and the Middle East, making it arguably the world’s first “social media-spawned mega-chain restaurant”. The food it serves isn’t to everyone’s taste – critics have described the steaks as “rubbery” and “mundane” – and the prices are eye-watering.
Still, we live in an age when “social media has overtaken the critic as an arbiter of what to eat”, and it seems likely that deep-pocketed social media obsessives will flock to Gökçe’s latest venture.