It’s always a big deal when a new restaurant opens in DIFC. Who doesn’t like new places to go and try? However, this may be the biggest opening for a while.
Forever ago (ok, only a few months) the billboards went up around a closed restaurant space. Not too long after that, rumours started to swirl that a new celebrity restaurant was going to be opening. Then, the billboards got painted and it was confirmed… Salt Bae’s newest restaurant was coming!
For anyone who is unfamiliar with who/what Salt Bae is, he is an Insta-phenomenon for how he sprinkles salt onto food. Literally. That’s it. He also picks good cuts and cooks them well, but it’s his boarderline eccentric look and salt spreading that captured people’s interest.
Anyway, the restaurant is now open and I managed to go a whole week without beating down the doors for their burgers!!
The restaurant itself is a trendy basic. Reminds me a bit of a New York loft type place. It has a massive fully stocked bar, and you can see right into the kitchen. You all know exactly how much I like that!!
The staff all seem super friendly and most of the guys have some quite epic mustaches!
I was a bit taken a back by one of the the hostess’ language as I was walking over, but I do have a potty mouth so cant say much. I guess they just aren’t used to how far their voices carry across the empty space outside the restaurant.
The bar team were great fun! It started raining – and I mean properly throwing it down, and one of them came over and asked where we were from so that he could check if he was using a saying properly. I confirmed he was indeed, and much to their amusement loudly, and in my best Queen’s English accent, said for them “It’s raining cats and dogs”!!
The wait staff were equally as great. They knew all about the burgers – what they were and how they were made. They explained everything clearly, and had endless patience for my dithering between all the options!
I started with a strawberry mojito mocktail. They didn’t have a diet sprite/7up and I always need something a bit more than water with my burgers. It was a great choice. Not only was it pretty, but it was delicious. It wasn’t overly syrupy, and also had a slightly sherberty taste. Very refreshing, and also gave the sweet treat at the end of the meal that I always need.
There were a few options, but I had heard a lot about the “wet burger”. There could only be one thing for me. Not that I had a clue what I was about to eat. I asked the waiter just to be sure there wasn’t anything to ring an alarm bell, but it was all good. A wet burger is a wagyu beef burger soaked in homemade tomato sauce. Literally. The whole burger gets dunked in the sauce.
Now, I can’t lie… it wasn’t the best burger I’ve ever eaten. It was very tasty though and I would recommend it. For me, it got much better with a blob of mayonnaise. I missed the crunch of lettuce, but then, actually one of the best things about it was that it was soft and moist. It also was very light to eat.
Honestly, putting all the above together, this may be the best lunchtime burger in DIFC. But you SERIOUSLY need the black gloves. It is messy as all heck to eat!!
As a side note, this restaurant is not recommended for anyone with a latex allergy one would imagine. Every plate comes out with the little black gloves. I can only imagine how many latex particles are in the air, which could be massively problematic.
Latex gloves don’t pose a problem for me, but even with the gloves on, I struggled with the messy elements of the eating. I had to eat all my burger first, and then take the gloves off to be “clean” again! My OCD apparently knows no bounds!
I think by taking off the gloves, I enjoyed the chips more than I would have with them. I actually, and this is about to be high praise indeed, think these are some of the best chips I have ever had. Ever. That is no joke to anyone that knows me!
They are perfectly fried, with fresh oil. They are seasoned with salt (obvs!) and chili and some other herbs that I’m too basic to be able to identify. They are not drowned in the seasoning though. They are perfectly balanced. I am literally drooling at the memory of them as I type! I could happily go back tomorrow and have them again. I even saw them coming out in giant trays. I wanted a giant tray of them.
The girls decided to try the “Juicy Burger”. Aptly named as when you bite into the exactly cooked medium burger (chef’s suggested level of ‘cookeness’), it ran with clear juice that made you happy for the gloves too! They were kind enough to let me have a bite to try and I have to say, it was exceptional.
The burger was chunky but still not heavy. It was flavoursome, but the addition of the carmalized onions and smoked rib eye really elevated it to a whole new level. My eyes rolled back into my head as the flavours all hit my tongue, and I had a little bit of food envy.
Tracey declared it her favourite burger, and awarded it 10/10. She is heading back again this week and already is excited to order it again. Karen agreed and she is a burger connoisseur!!
My burger was AED 50, and you have to order the fries additionally. They are AED 20 (which is cheaper than a diet coke!) and worth every fil. The juicy burger is AED 100 and comes with the fries.
There are a few other options (including vegetarian) and I will go back one day to try some. However, I probably will not be trying the Golden Burger as it is priced at an eye-watering AED 500. You know that with gold leaf, I am curious but not even I can justify that amount of curiosity!!! If you did feel like spending that much on the burger, one imagines that you would have to wash it down with the AED 200 “Golden SaltBae Shake”!!
We had such a great lunch, but it was made all the more memorable because SaltBae himself was there!
What a lovely chap! He patiently stood for photographs with everyone, and even photobomb’d to created possibly one of the best photos I have ever taken!!!!
It all works in his favour though. When you get a photo like this you will hashtag it all over the place. That basically is the entire marketing theory for this restaurant. They haven’t spent a dirham on marketing by all accounts. It’s all been word of mouth and social media tagging.
I for one am a fan of this strategy because it’s fun! It works and it added a great many laughs for us.
The Verdict: I will absolutely go back and have no hesitation recommending it. 10/10 from me!