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Vietnamese minister under fire for ‘Salt Bae’ golden steak dinner in London

Published: Updated:

Vietnam’s Public Security Minister has come under fire for dining at the expensive Nusr-Et steakhouse where he was hand-fed a gold-plated steak by celebrity chef Nusret Gokce in London earlier this month, the BBC reported.

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“Critics have questioned the choice of venue, with one steak dish costing more than the minister’s monthly wage,” according to the BBC.

The celebrity chef reportedly shared the video on his TikTok account showing Minister General To Lam along with a Vietnamese delegation dining at the restaurant.

The video, which was reshared by Twitter users later, showed Lam being hand-fed a piece of meat but it was reportedly deleted “after attracting media attention.”

According to the BBC, human rights activist Hoang Dung questioned the reasons for having a work dinner “at such an expensive restaurant.”

The newly opened restaurant is in London’s upmarket Knightsbridge district and has become known for its expensive menu.

“The prices are not listed on its website, but according to reviews the gold-covered steak ranges from £850 to £1,500 ($1,140 to $2,015). And that is without drinks, side dishes or the 15 [percent] service charge,” the BBC reported.

Other social media users reportedly denounced the meal and compared it to poverty in Vietnam.

“My tax money has been used for luxury,” Radio Free Asia quoted one person as saying, according to the BBC.

“Vietnam is still poor, but the minister is so luxurious, the officer is enjoying so much extravagance,” Facebook user Mung Tin Ngo wrote.

Lam’s office did not make any comments after the video and dinner outing caused a backlash.

It remains unknown who paid the bill or how much the total was but according to the report, the minister’s monthly wage is between $600 to $800 per month.

The official was in London after having attended the COP26 climate summit in nearby Glasgow, Scotland.

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