All it took was some sensual steak-cutting, plus a devil-may-care sprinkling of sodium, and Salt Bae won the internet's heart. The Turkish chef and his meat-preparation videos have been going viral, but for some appreciators, simply watching him on a tiny screen isn't enough. They must try one of Nusret Gökçe's salty, salty steaks for themselves. So, can you visit Salt Bae's restaurant? Sure, but only if you're willing to travel to Turkey or Dubai. The rest of us may have to settle for replaying his Instagram videos on loop, while eating some pale imitation steak and practicing our sassy salt-dropping.
Gökçe actually runs a chain of steakhouses called Nusr-Et in Turkey, located in Istanbul, Ankara, Bodrum, and on the Datça Peninsula. He also recently opened up a new one in Dubai. Since he runs back and forth between them all, likely wearing his signature shades the whole time, there's no guarantee you'd get a steak personally slapped, sliced, and salt-sprinkled by the celebrity himself. (And, consequently, no hope that you'd be able to catch his eye from across the room, and do all the things that his weirdly erotic videos might make you want to do.) Still, the restaurants are highly-lauded in Turkey, so you'd likely have a great time anyway.
Be warned, though. It's apparently pretty difficult to get a reservation at one of Salt Bae's restaurants, and that was before Ben Affleck wore his face on a t-shirt.
If you do find yourself in the neighborhood of one of his restaurants, you likely won't get in just by showing up and saying, "But I tweet about #SaltBae all the time! Gimme steak!" It's definitely a good idea to call ahead for a reservation.
Perhaps, when you call, the line will be busy, clogged by the thousands of others who found something beautiful in Gökçe's approach to meat, and decided that they must have some of it for themselves. You may be tempted to curl up in frustration. But do you think Salt Bae would give up? No. Approach getting that reservation like Salt Bae approaches his meat: with confidence, slapping and massaging your circumstances until they have become what you want them to be — total perfection.
And hey, for those of us who aren't anywhere near Turkey or Dubai, who knows? Given his newfound popularity (he has nearly two million followers on Instagram now), perhaps Salt Bae will realize he needs to bring his particular talents to people all over the world. Here's hoping.