A man who sells beef noodles in Vietnam received a summons from police after he filmed himself imitating the Turkish steak chef known as “Salt Bae” — just days after a Vietnamese official was caught on camera eating a gold-encrusted steak at the chef’s London restaurant.
Bui Tuan Lam, a noodle vendor in Danang, said he had no intention of mocking famed Turkish chef Nusr-et Gökçe in the video showing him cutting up beef and sprinkling green onions into a bowl of noodle soup, Reuters reported.
“The video I made was for fun and for advertising my noodle shop,” the 38-year-old told Reuters. “More customers have been coming since I posted it.”
Lam said it’s unclear if the summons was related to the footage, saying that he told was the reason had “to be kept secret,” according to the BBC.
However, the timing of the summons is suspect.
It comes after Gökçe uploaded footage of himself last week feeding Vietnam’s Minister of Public Security, To Lam, at his London eatery, where cuts of prime beef can run as high as $1,960, according to Reuters.
The footage quickly caused controversy in Vietnam, where critics noted the slab of meat cost more than the minister’s monthly wage of between $600 and $800, BBC reported.
Meanwhile, the average Vietnam citizen earned roughly $230 this year, according to data from the nation’s General Statistics Office cited by BBC.
Radio Free Asia posted the clip on Tuesday, saying it had sparked scandal due to the lavish lifestyles of government officials in a country where much of the country’s population still lives below the poverty line.
Cops in Danang did not return a request for comment Thursday, according to Reuters.
Lam, meanwhile, told Reuters he was “raising his voice for a better society” and that cops had previously met with him in April, without elaborating. He had previously criticized Vietnam authorities on Facebook.
It’s unclear who paid for To Lam’s meal, the Daily Mail reported. He was in Britain during a visit by senior Vietnamese officials for the UN climate conference, COP26, in Glasgow.