Beef noodle seller in Vietnam summoned by police for imitating Turkish restaurateur ‘Salt Bae’

A Vietnamese beef noodle seller has been summoned by police for imitating celebrity butcher- turned-chef Salt Bae. ― Reuters pic
A Vietnamese beef noodle seller has been summoned by police for imitating celebrity butcher- turned-chef Salt Bae. ― Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 ― A beef noodle seller in Vietnam has been summoned by police after he imitated Turkish restaurateur Nusret Gokce.

This comes days after a top Vietnamese official was caught on camera eating gold-encrusted steak at the celebrity chef's London restaurant.

Bui Tuan Lam said his intention in making the video, which shows him ceremoniously slicing boiled beef and flamboyantly sprinkling green onions into a bowl of noodle soup, was not to mock any particular individual.

Bui, 38, from the central city of Danang, told Reuters that he made the video to promote his shop.

“The video I made was for fun and for advertising my beef noodle shop. More customers have been coming since I posted it,” he said, adding that he was unsure if he was summoned because of his parody.

Bui, who has previously criticised authorities on Facebook, said this was not the first time he had been summoned by police with the last in April.

He said he was “raising his voice for a better society”.

Last week, the celebrity butcher-turned-chef, more popularly known as Salt Bae, uploaded a video of himself serving Vietnam's Minister of Public Security, To Lam, gold leaf encrusted steak at his London restaurant, where a steak can go as high as 1,450 pounds (RM8,179).

Images of To Lam's golden dinner caused a stir both on and offline in Vietnam, with many questioning how a high-ranking Party official allowed himself to be filmed indulging in such expensive food amid a state crackdown on corruption.

Police in Vietnam routinely summon activists and people who openly criticise the ruling Communist Party for questioning.

Gokce was said to have removed the video from his TikTok account shortly after it was uploaded, and further copies were then removed from the app for violating 'community standards'.

Days later, Meta, Facebook's parent company, said it had unblocked the '#saltbae' hashtag, having found the tag had been blocked globally after the footage emerged.

It was not immediately clear why the video led to the tag being blocked and a Meta spokesperson declined to comment on potential reasons.

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