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Former employee calls London restaurant Salt Bae ‘McDonald’s for the rich’
LONDON: A former employee of Nusr-Et in London has denounced the famous restaurant’s “toxic working environment” and accused it of serving customers “frozen fries with Heinz ketchup”.
The Knightsbridge restaurant, owned by Turkish chef Salt Bae – real name Nusret Gokce – became a social media phenomenon when it launched late last year, largely because of the sky-high prices it charged for everything from fries to baklava.
But former employee Guillermo Perez, a sommelier from Madrid, told MailOnline the restaurant was a ‘McDonald’s for the rich’ for charging customers exorbitant prices when they served them ‘frozen crisps with ketchup Heinz”.
Nusr-Et’s specials include a Golden Giant Tomahawk steak for £1,450 ($1,935), a Golden Giant Striploin for £1,350 and Golden Kafes for £500. A simple burger and a coke will set you back £100 and £9 respectively.
Wines, too, the sommelier said, got an “incredible” markup.
“Bottles worth £1,000 would sell for up to £3,000, for example,” Perez told MailOnline.
“Of course you can charge people whatever price you want, but that’s pretty unethical when the quality of food and service doesn’t match the price.”
He continued: “One day I saw a big bag of frozen crisps and I was like, ‘Really? This is what we serve people? And they had Heinz ketchup and mayonnaise, which you can get at the store.
“I’ve worked in Mayfair and other fine restaurants, but my experience there was very disappointing,” he said.
“I think people there want to show off how much money they have, almost everyone paid in cash.”
The restaurant’s high-profile clients include David Beckham, Jason Statham and Naomi Campbell. In addition to London, it has outlets in New York, Dubai and Istanbul.
It’s unclear if these places run their kitchens the same way they do in London, but one reviewer wrote on TripAdvisor: “The ones in LA, Turkey and Dubai are amazing and I can’t recommend them highly enough, but I would never return to Nusr-Et in London.
“I dined here with business associates and felt embarrassed afterwards that I chose such an awful place to dine. This place is all hip and lacking in substance. Forget it or dine at your own risk.
Perez said he spoke after being fired from the restaurant after eating an avocado in the canteen after 5:30 p.m. He said he found a new job as a sommelier on a cruise but regretted ever working at Nusr-Et.
“I wish I had never taken a job there,” he said.