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Salt Bae restaurant selling £700 steaks posts surge in profits

Salt Bae
Salt Bae’s first popular video attracted more than 16 million views - Julian Simmonds

The London restaurant owned by viral chef Salt Bae has defied the cost of living crisis as wealthy diners continue to splash out on steaks worth hundreds of pounds.

Nusr-Et Steakhouse in Knightsbridge raked in millions of pounds in 2022 as the business cashed in on the popularity of owner Nusret Gökçe, otherwise known as Salt Bae.

The celebrity chef has built a global restaurant empire ever since a viral video in 2017 showed him extravagantly cutting meat and sprinkling salt.

He is known for sprinkling salt in such a way that it bounces off his elbow onto food and is almost always pictured wearing round black sunglasses.

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His first popular video attracted more than 16 million views.

Salt Bae’s London restaurant opened in September 2021 and racked up around £7m in sales in its first four months alone.

Nusr-Et
Profits at Nusr-Et rose 44pc to £3.3m in 2022 from revenues of £13.6m - Ray Tang/Shutterstock

Dishes on the menu at Nusr-Et include a £630 giant tomahawk steak, £680 Wagyu striploin, burgers that cost more than £45 and a gold-plated baklava dessert which costs £50.

Salt Bae’s fame has made his restaurants a hotspot for celebrities, attracting diners such as David Beckham and Leonardo Di Caprio.

Profits at Nusr-Et Steakhouse rose 44pc to £3.3m in 2022 from revenues of £13.6m, which came as upmarket rivals struggled amid high inflation.

Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant group, for instance, posted pre-tax losses of £1m for the year to August 28, 2022.

However, despite Nusr-Et’s opulence, the restaurant is among the worst-rated in London on Tripadvisor.

It is currently ranked number 14,728 out of 15,134 restaurants in the capital, earning it a two-and-a-half star rating from diners.

The Telegraph’s food critic William Sitwell previously said the price of a starter of tuna tartare, at £35, was “inexcusable”.

The restaurant lowered its prices last year in a bid to broaden its customer base and began selling a lunch menu for as low as £39 per person.

In its accounts, director Nihan Turgay also said the company had cut the heating in its restaurants to save money in 2022 amid the energy crisis.

Ms Turgay said: “This included turning off central heating systems after closing or during peak hours when heating demand is lower, limiting the operational times of the air curtain, and turning off lights during closing hours.”

Nusr-Et is owned by Dogus International, one of Turkey’s largest private sector companies, which runs a string of car dealerships, shops, restaurants, and construction subsidiaries.

As well as the UK, Nusr-Et restaurants have opened in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Miami, New York, Dallas, Mykonos, Boston, Beverly Hills, and Riyadh.

Mr Gökçe sparked controversy at the World Cup final in 2022 when he was allowed onto the pitch after Argentina’s victory against France and approached Lionel Messi for a selfie.

Nusr-Et was contacted for comment.