Skip to content

What Chef Eats: Freddie Salim

What Chef Eats: Freddie Salim

Auli Cinantya
08 July 2023


Renowned for his Asian cuisine expertise, Chef Freddie Salim of Silk Bistro shares stories about his projects, cooking style, and top food destinations.


Meet Chef Freddie Salim, a passionate Indonesian chef who made a remarkable career in Australia before returning to Jakarta in early 2020. With a specialization in Asian dishes, Chef Freddie is dedicated to preserving and elevating the essence of home-cooked meals, transforming them into exquisite and opulent creations for the modern people of Jakarta.

In an insightful conversation, Chef Freddie shares details about his current projects, offering a glimpse into his cooking style and his top three food destinations. Prepare to embark on a culinary journey as Chef Freddie unveils his culinary expertise and shares his favorite gastronomic experiences.

Hi! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your day-to-day activities?
My day-to-day activity is very straightforward. I start my day with exercise and then prepare myself to go to the restaurant. Once there, I work with the staff to prepare everything we need before the restaurant opens. Sometimes I also need alone time to think about the bistro, what we can improve, and what new dishes I can add to the menu.

What do you like the most about being a chef?
What I like the most about being a chef is that I can express my love of cooking good food to our guests and meeting new people in the restaurant. I also love that I can always learn together with my staff to be a better chef every day.

How do you describe your cooking style?
A bold Asian flavor with no boundaries in cooking technique.

To you, what would make a perfect meal?
A perfect meal is a meal that is meant to be shared with everyone and everywhere.

In the past few years, we have seen a lot of unique food trends; which food trend do you like the most and why?
Contemporary Asian food trend! I like it because the trend is all about cooking Asian food with a complex flavor yet still representing simplicity. Cooking with a modern touch can bring the dining experience to another level.

Do you have any go-to venues for hanging out with friends or maybe for special occasions with family?
I love Korean BBQ restaurants and Cha Chaan Teng. There’s this one Cha Chaan Teng place I love so much called Chatswood BBQ Kitchen in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia.

Is there any food you can eat every day without getting bored?
Yes! I love anything with peanut sauce and also Thai and Cantonese food. Anything from dumplings, kaprao, to roast duck!

What is your favorite home-cooked meal?
Too many to tell! But my favorite would be a Chicken and Maling (pork spam) Soup with Boiled Macaroni. Contemporary cooking already hit me at a young age!

What is your most recent dining destination that left a good impression?
Rice Campur! They are currently only available on the delivery platform. The quality of ingredients and execution is remarkable.

Where are your top three dining places that are always on your favorite list? And which food do you recommend getting at those places?

My top 3 dining places are:

  • Green Wood Chinese Restaurant, at North Sydney.
    I love their yum cha selections and well-made food; it has personal memories for me and my wife! Fun fact: we had our wedding banquet there too!
  • Muse Restaurant, located in Hunter Valley.
    Their seasonal tasting menu is indescribable!
  • Bar Totti’s in Sydney
    I recommend their Italian-style house-made antipasto served with wood-fired bread.

Did you develop new recipes or discover a new type of food you have enjoyed in the recent year?
Developing Weekend Brunch at Silk menu selections!

What are the most unique ingredients you have ever worked with?
Kafir lime fruit they are super fragrant!

Do you have any special dishes or recipes that you’re currently researching and developing?
There will always be room for improvement in any of my recipes. 

Could we look forward to any new plan or project?
Yes! I can’t say anything yet, though. I’m still in the process of making it come to life. Fingers crossed!

More From Features, Food

Sign-up for our bi-weekly Eatspeditions newsletter.

Food news, restaurant offers and exciting food events straight to your inbox.