A great marketing name deserves to be experienced, especially when there is no waiting list, and no reservation needed. After dining at Nusr-Et in Istanbul several years back before the restaurant had more than one location, I tried to book again this summer with no success until we’ve landed in the D-Maris bay hotel. Nusret still is about the show and the meat; let’s see if it’s worth the hype.
Located on the beach, Nusr-Et opens at four in the afternoon. Meats of all kinds, especially the ones named “Nusr-Et” like the Nusr-Et spaghetti, Nusr-Et burger, and Nusr-Et meatballs. So I ordered them all.
Salt and pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar with two kinds of mustard were already waiting for us at the table. The bartender was preparing drinks, DJ playing music and meat chopped at the table behind us; the show and the experience were pleasant to enjoy. Everything is exaggerated, the way meat is cut, and the baklava is opened.
A floor made of wood, an open kitchen, a rich display of meat cuts, three wine coolers, and round tables made of marble: let’s eat.
I don’t want to look pretentious, but I expected better, way better from a marketing name like Nusr-Et. Has it only became a marketing name? You expect meat to be unique! Outstanding and out of this world... it is unfortunately not.
- Steak tartare: looks like Lebanese “Tebleh,” raw Kebbeh without borghol. Mashed meat -extremely mashed- lacking flavor until you sprinkle some salt and pepper and add mustard to your bites.
- The burger is heavy! Way too heavy, too buttery, loaded with fatty cheese be made of a tender bun and tender meat that melts under the teeth like butter. I would have expected more texture in the burger.
- Meatballs: raw meat inside, red with a hard envelop again lacking texture. Chunks of fat, gooey... there’s nothing exceptional about it.
- The Nusr-Et spaghetti came cold; tender beef needing mustard for a better taste.
The good: even though the waiter doesn’t smile, doesn’t talk and doesn’t interact, the food show is interesting. Expect to pay an average of 50$/person.
The bad: food is cold.
The restaurant doesn’t have anything special for me to visit again.