Video: Days after a top Vietnamese official was caught on camera eating gold-encrusted steak at the Turkish celebrity chef’s London restaurant, police in Vietnam summoned a beef noodle seller who taped himself impersonating Turkish famous chef Salt Bae.
Footage shared on the internet reveals that by ceremoniously slicing boiling beef and flamboyantly sprinkling green onions over a bowl of noodle soup, “Bui Tuan Lam imitates Salt Bae”.
However, the 38-year-old from Danang, Vietnam’s central city, was quickly apprehended by cops and denied mocking anyone, arguing that it was merely meant to be a ‘fun’ advertisement.
It comes after a video of Salt Bae, real name Nusret Gokce, hand-feeding a £1,450 tomahawk wrapped in gold to top Vietnamese Communist Party Official To Lam surfaced earlier this month.
The video, which was shot at the Turkish chef’s London restaurant Nusr-Et, provoked uproar on social media.
Bộ trưởng Bộ Công an Việt Nam Tô Lâm được Salt Bae chế biến và đút cho ăn món bò dát vàng trị giá lên đến 45 triệu đồng/phần trong một nhà hàng của ông này ở Luân Đôn. Cùng bàn với ông Tô Lâm là Chánh văn phòng Bộ Công an Tô Ân Xô. pic.twitter.com/hGZZqGbJZr— Duy Bình (@DuyBnh61157516) November 5, 2021
Lam’s take on this
“The video I made was for fun and for advertising my beef noodle shop. More customers have been coming since I posted it,” Lam said, adding that it was unclear whether the police summons was related to his video.
In Vietnam, activists and public critics of the ruling Communist Party are often summoned for questioning.
Lam, who has previously expressed his dissatisfaction with authorities on social media, said he had been ‘raising his voice for a better society’ and that police had previously summoned him for a meeting in April without providing any explanation.
In a Facebook post alongside the video, he introduced himself as ‘Green Onion Bae.’
Video of Salt Bae
Last week, Salt Bae shared a video of himself serving gold leaf encrusted steak to Vietnam’s Minister of Public Security, To Lam, at his London restaurant, where a steak can cost up to £1,450 ($1,960).
Vietnamese users told Reuters at the time that the original video was removed from Gokce’s TikTok account shortly after it was uploaded, and that further copies were later removed from the app for breaking ‘community standards.’
After the footage went viral, Meta, Facebook’s parent company, announced it had unblocked the ‘#saltbae’ hashtag after discovering it had been prohibited globally.
The reason for the tag’s blocking was not immediately evident, and a Meta spokesperson declined to comment on the possibility.
While the hashtag was prohibited, a search for it generated a message stating that community guidelines had been broken.