The customer was not expecting a US$5,000 (S$6,738) check
Edible gold leaf does not add any flavour or really any texture to your food. Sure, used judiciously it can bring a little fun and flair and indulgence. But you know what it does add? Extra money to your bill. An abundance of gold on a dish is just a shiny way of a restaurant separating you from your cash for nothing much in return.
So, of course Instagram sensation Salt Bae (a.k.a. Nusret Gökçe) has a Golden Tomahawk on the menu of his Miami Nusr-Et Steakhouse where a bone-in wagyu ribeye is encased in 24-karat gold leaf. The steak would set you back US$275 (S$370.70) on its own, but with the gold? US$1,000 (S$1,348). And you may get the gold one even if you didn’t want it. As one diner found out recently when a dispute over which version of Salt Bae’s Signature Steak had been ordered ended with the Miami PD showing up.
A couple weeks ago, Duane Miranda visited the steakhouse with a group of friends and they selected a couple of the US$275 (S$370.70) tomahawks. The steaks arrived wrapped in gold, but the dining companions thought nothing of it. They believed this was just part of Salt Bae’s trademark showmanship. That was until the bill arrived. Their check amounted to US$5,012.28 (S$6,756.50) and obviously, they protested.
The steakhouse responded by calling the police on Miranda’s party, according to The Miami Herald and Miranda’s own Yelp review. Once the police arrived, Miranda spent an hour trying to get the charge adjusted before agreeing to pay the full amount. This is nothing new for the restaurant. The Herald reports that “Nusr-Et steakhouse has called the police on customers disputing a massive check at least a dozen times since it opened in November 2017.”
“I think they’re out to victimise their customers,” Miranda told the paper. “It’s a bait-and-switch.”
The restaurant has pushed back, with the general manager telling The Herald that the menu is clear and that the police were called because Miranda’s party threatened to leave without paying the bill.
Although Miranda eventually picked up the check, he has taken to social media and the press to voice his displeasure and says he’ll dispute the charge with American Express. Talk about a high-steaks meal.