Noodle seller summoned by cops after ‘Salt Bae’ parody video


POLICE have summoned a beef noodle seller who filmed himself imitating Nusret Gokce, also known as “Salt Bae”, days after a top Vietnamese official was caught on camera eating a gold-encrusted steak at the Turkish celebrity chef’s London restaurant.

Bui Tuan Lam, 38, who hails from the central city of Danang, 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.

“The video I made was for fun and for advertising my beef noodle shop.

“More customers have been coming since I posted it,” said Lam, who added that it was not clear if the police summons was because of his video.

Last week, Gokce uploaded a video of himself feeding Vietnam’s Minister of Public Security To Lam a gold leaf-encrusted steak at his luxury Nusr-Et restaurant in London, where a single slab of steak reportedly sells for up to £1,450 (RM8,100).

Days later, Facebook said it had unblocked the tag #saltbae, having found that it had been blocked internationally after the footage emerged.

Police in Vietnam routinely summon activists and people who are found to be publicly critical of the ruling Communist Party for questioning.

Danang police did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Lam, who has previously criticised authorities on Facebook, said he had been “raising his voice for a better society”, and that police had previously summoned him for a meeting in April without saying why.

He also jokingly described himself in a Facebook post uploaded alongside the video as “Green Onion Bae”.

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

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