It looks like Nusret Gökçe's latest restaurant endeavor could use a bit more seasoning. Though Salt Bae, the Turkish-born chef known by most for his viral videos and his moniker than his menus, owns and operates nine other locations of his restaurant Nusr-Et, it was the opening of his midtown Manhattan fixture that did him in.
The reviews are in, and they're not great. According to TIME, food critics from across the city have largely panned the restaurant, calling the food bland, boring, and way too expensive.
Eater called the steaks rubbery, and food critic Robert Sietsema revealed he was still left hungry even after dropping over $300 for two people. Steve Cuozzo of the New York Post didn't hold back, calling the whole restaurant "a rip-off" and described one of the steaks he ordered as "shoe-leather-tough bone-in ribeye, which, for extra fun, was loaded with gruesome globs of fat." Ouch.
Considering it's a steakhouse, and Gökçe, a trained butcher, specializes in meat dishes that have been on the plates of celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles, you'd think they'd at least get that part of the menu right. GQ food critic Joshua David wrote about the eatery's "mundane... tough, and rather bland" steaks, while some other dishes were criminally overcooked. He noted that you even have to pay nearly $10 for a jug of water to be brought to your table. No free refills, here. "The cocktails are terrible and the water—which we ended up buying—is $9 and does little to quench our thirst," he wrote.
What the restaurant seemingly lacks in good food, it makes up for in IG-ready photo ops—with the chef himself coming over to guests' tables to apply the final touches the way only Salt Bae can.
If you're someone who has to see for yourself before you judge, you can; just don't say you weren't warned.