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Salt Bae Criticized For Massive $108,000 Check At Dubai Restaurant

Source: Instagram

Eating out isn’t something most of us do every day. A restaurant meal at a high-end establishment is a treat. We expect to pay for having dishes made with high-quality ingredients, particularly if there’s a famous chef involved. The chef known as Salt Bae recently learned that there are consequences for bragging about high prices online.

Who Is Salt Bae?

Salt Bae became a meme on the internet in 2017. Images of him dramatically sprinkling salt on meat were everywhere. You may not know his real name, which is Nusret Gökçe. He’s Turkish and was born in 1983. He’s known as a butcher, chef, and restaurant owner. His most famous restaurants are the Nusr-Et steakhouses. “Et” means meat in Turkish.

Source: Nusr-Et Steakhouse

Salt Bae’s Nusr-Et has luxury steakhouse locations all around the world, including Greece, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Salt Bae’s passion for cooking meat started at an early age, when he left school in the sixth grade to be a butcher’s apprentice in Istanbul.

Where Is Salt Bae’s Restaurant?

Salt Bae has restaurants all around the world, including multiple locations in the US. The restaurant that raised the recent controversy is in a city that’s known for its luxurious experiences and high prices. We’re talking about Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE isn’t the wealthiest country in the world, but its reputation is for luxury.

Source: Trip Advisor / Four Seasons

Dubai is home to Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. In the city, luxury dining experiences are everywhere. That includes Salt Bae’s Nusr-Et location in the Four Seasons, which is where some wealthy diner received the huge bill that started the controversy. We understand why it raised eyebrows. Who pays that much for a meal?

Just How Big Was That Receipt?

By now, you’re probably wondering how big a restaurant bill needs to be in order to be controversial. Brace yourself! The total may shock you. The bill that Salt Bae shared online totaled 398630 UAE dirham. That works out to $108,000 in American dollars! How can anybody afford to spend that much for a single meal?

Source: Instagram

At a quick glance, it appears that the meal included appetizers, main courses, wine, and desserts. It’s necessary to take a deeper look to understand why the bill was so high. One obvious culprit is the wine. There are three bottles that totaled 263000 dirham. There were also five double shots of Louis XIII cognac for 5500 dirham each.

The Most Expensive Still Water Ever?

Restaurant markups for wine and liquor tend to be high. The item that is in some ways the most shocking is a drink that most restaurants give out for free: water! There’s a charge on the bill for five servings of still (aka non-bubbly) water. We understand paying extra for name-brand water, but how much did Salt Bae charge?

Source: Robert Sietsema

The bill reveals a charge of 250 dirham for still water, which is 50 dirham per serving. That works out to about $13.55 per glass in US dollars. That’s a lot of money for something we find everywhere and get for free from the taps in our homes. Is the controversy starting to seem more understandable?

Gold-Plated Food

We’re sure that Salt Bae uses a lot of expensive ingredients in his food. After all, Nusr-Et is supposed to be a luxury steakhouse. We were still a little stumped until we noticed multiple repetitions of the same word on the bill. We’re talking about the word golden. We see golden filet mignon, golden steak, and even golden baklava!

Source: Instagram / YouTube

In the world of fine dining, it has become a trend for chefs to add edible gold to some of their dishes. Extremely thin sheets of gold can be draped over salads, main courses, and desserts for visual appeal. They don’t add anything in terms of flavor, but they certainly amp up the luxury in any dish when they’re added.

The Finest of Fine Dining

There’s no question that restaurant dining has become increasingly popular and important to people around the world. A recent statistic that was making the rounds said that it would take 22.7 years to eat at all of New York City’s restaurants. Dining out is a form of entertainment and for some people, it’s a way of life.

Source: Four Seasons

There’s a difference between fine dining and ultra-luxurious fine dining. It’s possible to get a wonderful meal at a highly-regarded restaurant for a price that’s still reasonable. That’s not the case at Salt Bae’s restaurants, where he charges a premium for everything. He even charges extra for the Salt Bae experience!

Money Comes, Money Goes

Wondering how Salt Bae himself responded to the controversy about that giant bill? It probably won’t surprise you to learn that his usual brashness was on display. Perhaps that’s to be expected from a man who charges diners 600 dirham to sprinkle salt on meat at the table! He was dismissive of the controversy and offered a quick comeback.

Source: Instagram

“Money comes, money goes” was Salt Bae’s response. In a way, we can see his point. While his prices might seem exorbitant, clearly the person who received that infamous bill was fine with the charges. If someone’s willing to pay that much for a single meal, can we really put the blame on Salt Bae for charging those high prices?

What’s Next For Salt Bae?

You’re not alone if you’re wondering what’s next for Salt Bae. He’s got luxury restaurants around the world and will no doubt open more. As long as there are people who are willing to pay luxury prices for his food, there’s no reason for him to stop.

Source: Instagram/nusr_et

Spice Bae’s flair for the dramatic and his ability to stay in the limelight will no doubt ensure that he remains popular. We’d be willing to bet that at least a few of the people reading this are saving up to dine with Salt Bae-and we’d love to tag along!

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James Stafford

Written by James Stafford

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