Salt Bae Restaurant Nusr-Et in Another Controversy

Published on January 11, 2020

MIAMI – Nustret Gökçe, aka Salt Bae, took the world by storm with his Instagram videos of mouth watering fillets. The dramatic fashion in which he sliced and salted the steaks were complimented by his fashion aesthetic, earning him internet fame and the aforementioned nickname.

The flagship Nusr-Et restaurant opened in Istanbul, Turkey, his home country’s capital. Since its launch in 2010, Nusr-Et has expanded internationally, with locations all over Turkey, the U.A.E, and the United States. The two stateside locations are in the major tourist and business hubs of New York City and Miami. However, it has not been all sunshine and rainbows in the sunshine state.

Trouble in Miami

The Miami location has been at the center of several controversies, making headlines again for calling the authorities on guests who are disputing their bill. The police have been called to the Brickell location for this reason a minimum of 12 times since opening in November 2017.

The most recent client to clash with the restaurant is Miami local, Duane Miranda. Miranda has gone public with his story, stating that the restaurant pulled a “bait and switch”. While he was aware of the locations reputation for its steep price-tag, the $5000 bill came as a shock.

Miranda maintains that he ordered two $275 tomahawk steaks as well as a rack of lamb, which arrived wrapped in gold. While he had placed the order for standard steaks and a rack of lamb, the restaurant insisted that they had ordered the gold option: a selection which bumped the price up to $1000 each. Rather than question the selection as it arrived, Miranda and his party chose to address it once seeing the bill. This resulted in their being forced to pay the tab with a police presence. Miranda has gone on record stating that he believes the restaurant is out to “victimize their customers.”

This is not an isolated incident. The restaurant has a history of calling Miami PD to complete their transactions. The general manager — going by the mononym, Oguz — stated in interview with the Miami Herald that he had to call the police “only twice” in the previous month while downplaying the incident.

Other Miami Controversies

Repeated intervention by the local police department is not the only dark cloud looming over the restaurant. Nusr-Et has earned negative press in the past due to the Salt Bae himself. Gökçe stirred up the local population when he dressed and posed as Fidel Castro on a since deleted Instagram post. He harvested even more distaste in South Florida when he served Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro at the flagship Istanbul location.

Serving and honoring communist dictators is a major faux pas for South Floridians, many of whom escaped the aforementioned regimes for a new life in America. If that was not enough, Gökçe is a defendant in a Miami based lawsuit alleging that he has cheated staff out of their tips. The suit is still ongoing.

This writer has eaten at the Brickell location and can safely say that it was good. Very good, in fact. If you are a fan of salty steak, then you might even say it was amazing. However, while dining it becomes obvious that you are paying a substantial mark-up to flex on the gram.

Justin Shamlou is a Senior Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Miami, he covers international news, consumer brands, tech, art/entertainment, and events. Justin started his career covering the electronic music industry, working as the Miami correspondent for Magnetic Mag and US Editor for Data Transmission.

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