Nusr-Et Steakhouse is “a carnival for rich carnivores”, says Jan Moir in the Daily Mail. The new restaurant in Knightsbridge serves chargrilled tomahawk steaks wrapped in 24-carat gold leaf for £700. Why does somewhere with such obscene prices have queues stretching around the corner? Because the owner is the Turkish butcher turned chef Nusret Gokce, aka Salt Bae.
Gokce become an internet sensation in 2017, when a video of his signature style – arm “bent back like a swan”, letting salt crystals “bounce off his muscled forearm and on to the steak” – went viral. Now the 38-year-old has 19 restaurants from Dubai to Beverly Hills, more than 38 million Instagram followers and fans from David Beckham to Rihanna to Leonardo DiCaprio. To his followers he is, quite simply, a meat god.
“If your idea of sexy is a Johnny Depp-alike charmer in black plastic gloves”, wielding an enormous knife and squeezing the juices out of meat, “then baby, you are in luck”. Gokce wiggles his hips suggestively, forking meat into my mouth “like a sparrow feeding her nestlings”. But my £120 steak is nothing special – the overriding flavour is salt. To eat a golden steak “is to sit under a shame cloud and just hope it clears away soon”.
You can’t beat a long, lazy breakfast
I haven’t eaten a regular breakfast “for nigh on 15 years”, says Jonathan Nunn in Vittles. As a purely functional meal “for lubricating the gears of capital”, it just doesn’t interest me. But while having a leisurely Irish-inspired breakfast at Café Cecilia in east London – including Guinness bread, a cream cheese bagel topped with fresh figs, “a glossy egg and fat sausages” – I had an epiphany.
A long breakfast, uninterrupted by work, “is perhaps the only meal where you have licence to eat what you want in any order, to move from sweet to savoury back to sweet, to eat a melon in the middle of it, to pour yourself three different drinks”. It offers an infinity of possibilities, of different combinations, of potential starts to the day. The danger is that if you’ve done it right, “all you’ll want to do is go back to bed”.
Sushi in seconds
TikTok food star Emily Mariko’s recipe for “homemade sushi” has gone viral. It’s a simple one – she puts a large tub of cooked rice in the microwave with leftover salmon and one ice cube. She zaps it, removes the ice and squirts lashings of mayonnaise, sriracha and soy sauce over the top. Then she takes a crisp seaweed slice and wraps it round a piece of chopped avocado and some of the fish and rice mixture. Her video has racked up 25.9 million views and 3.9 million likes. But not all users are enthralled. Why, asked one, “are people so shook by fish and rice”?
Turkeys are just not for Christmas
Retail analyst Clive Black has warned that turkey shortages may leave British families having to eat “other meats” on Christmas Day. “At last!” says Jemima Lewis in The Daily Telegraph. My husband and I always “wistfully debate” trying something else. “No one really likes turkey: if we did, we would eat it more than once a year.”