Food Travel

Nurs-Et (Salt Bae) – Disaster Lunch; Yes, That Salt Down the Arm Guy

A friend and I were discussing restaurants he frequented in Dubai and he mentioned to me about Nurs-Et. This is the restaurant of Salt Bae. I’m sure you have seen video of him salting steak in kind of a flexed arm position and then dribbling the salt down his arm. If not, watch this vid.

Naturally, I asked if the place was a gimmick or actually good. He assured me it was no gimmick. Fast forward one year, and I find myself in Miami and notice there is a Nurs-Et. I make a reservation for lunch. Here was the experience.

We start with the grilled octopus salad. Now, I am not one to place high value on portion sizes. I believe in paying for good technique, service, quality ingredients, the chef’s talents etc, (in other words, I place value on the artistic components, cultural aspects and pleasure of a meal over portion sizes) but I know when something is just off. This is one of those rare times. The octopus was good, but for the price they are charging, the dish was not worth it at all.

Next came the beef spaghetti. The beef is sliced into thin noodle like pieces. This was recommended to me by my friend. It was good. The flavor was good and the beef was very tender. I think it is finished in a lot of butter,

Now, this is where everything went downhill. The next course, a cut of meat suggested by the server (I believe it was about $300), took an EXTREMELY long time to come out. I can’t say they were super busy because they had only a few tables (it was a late lunch) and a lot of staff. No idea what happened but we must of waited close to an hour with multiple servers coming by to assure us it would only be 10 minutes more each time. At one point I told them to cancel the order and then the food magically appeared. We also ordered a side of corn with it.

The corn was tasteless. The steak itself was really good. After complaining to our server about the long wait, he:

  1. said the manager would come talk to us (this never happened)
  2. would provide comp’d tea (which came out promptly)
  3. would provide free baklava (more on this below)

After the meal, we sat for another extended period of time. No one came to check on us or clear plates. I asked multiple times for the bill, which still took a long time to come. During the time the bill was coming, a guy brought the baklava which I told him we did not want. I could not stand another minute in the restaurant. The lunch took over 2 hours to complete, for no reason.

There’s more. I found out that this place does an auto grat which is ridiculous considering the poor quality of service. I would of tipped more than the auto grat anyway, if the service was just decent. On our way out, I spoke to the manager and explained what happened. He said he would “investigate” but it was obvious he had no interest in what I was saying. Total bill for lunch was over $500, and over 2 hours. The steaks themselves are pretty good but there is no way I would ever return. There is not even a way to contact the restaurants on the website. I guess they don’t want to hear from guests.

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