By now, you've probably already witnessed the sheer awesomeness that is Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe — a man better known as Salt Bae. There's something oddly satisfying about the way he cleanly cuts meat, and his iconic sprinkle of salt at the end of his famous video (below) has been turned into a global meme. Nusr-Et Steakhouse has five locations worldwide (as well as two Nusr-Et Burger venues in Turkey), and while on vacation, I visited the Dubai restaurant (where the original Salt Bae meme video was filmed). Let me begin by saying that it was absolutely incredible

From the onset, the restaurant's warm ambience, bubbly background music, and smiling moustached waiters made me feel right at home. The smell of grilled meat and aromatic wine permeated the air, making my empty stomach grumble. 

Appetizer Time: Steak Sushi

Marie Chantal Marauta

We began the evening by ordering the restaurant's iconic starter — Nusret's steak sushi with creamed avocado, sticky rice, crispy onion flakes, and, of course, a sprinkle of salt.

After bringing the cart of meat and rice to our table and torching the sushi alarmingly close to our faces, the waiter placed the dish in front of us with a flourish. And, upon the insistence of the very attentive manager, we put the entire piece of sushi into our mouths in order to "fully appreciate the texture."

Our lives were never the same. 

meat, sauce, pork
Marie Chantal Marauta

The tenderness of the meat, softness of the rice, and explosion of flavors made my mouth water, and I literally fell into a trance. 10/10 would recommend. 

Main Course: An Entire Rack of Lamb 

Marie Chantal Marauta

Next, we ordered an entire rack of lamb to share (there were three of us, so we figured it would be enough). They served us the colossal rack with a trippy dry-ice cup to make it look intriguing and to be honest, it was quite intimidating. It looked like something out of "Game of Thrones."

In true Salt Bae fashion, the waiter cleanly and swiftly cut up the rack in front of us. Once again, he held a dangerous weapon, a gigantic meat knife, a little too close for comfort, but never once faltered. And of course, once the meat was cut, he sprinkled rock salt all over it with Salt Bae's signature flick of the wrist. 

Marie Chantal Marauta

At this point, I began to think: this is all for show, right? What could possibly be so good about a rack of lamb to warrant all of this hooplah? 

About a million foodgasms and seven lamb chop bones later, I could not stop eating. The lamb was tender, juicy and rich, yet melted in my mouth. Somehow, they'd gotten the balance between soft and smoky absolutely perfect, and once I got past the delicious meat I sucked the crispy fat off the bone. As I ate, and continually sprinkled rock salt onto my meat, I nearly cried of happiness.

Only later did I remember that I'd also ordered scrumptious sides of truffle croquettes, onion rings and creamed spinach. 

meat, barbecue, pork, beef, steak
Marie Chantal Marauta

If we thought that the meat was where the goodness ended, we could not have been more wrong.

Dessert: House-Made Baklava 

Marie Chantal Marauta

The restaurant only serves one type of dessert — their house-made Baklava with vanilla ice cream. A waiter wanders around the restaurant with a tray of freshly-made Baklava, which he brings to your table upon request.

Expertly, he cut a triangular slice and placed it on a plate, splitting the top and bottom. Then, he dauntingly twisted a scoop of creamy white ice cream right up in my face, before smoothing it out onto the bottom half of the Baklava. 

After some more poking, prodding, and smoothing out, the result was an exquisite mix of sweet, creamy ice cream and crumbly, decadent Baklava. Never in my life have I devoured a dessert so fast, and asked for seconds at the drop of a hat. And seeing as I am a sweet-toothed foodie, that is really saying something.

broccoli, cheese
Marie Chantal Marauta

Needless to say that overall, I absolutely loved the experience. The food was fantastic, the service was swift and friendly and the ambiance was homey. Even though Salt Bae became famous because of the theatricality of his service, his restaurant truly deserves its celebrity status. Seriously, if his food was a person, I would marry it. And believe me, so would you.