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What FoodieS Eat: Ray Janson

What FoodieS Eat: Ray Janson

FoodieS Team
13 November 2022


Chef, podcaster and entrepreneur Ray Janson shares his food memory and dining destination from his days as a chef until his most recent ones.


Ray Janson is a passionate Indonesian chef turned podcaster. He spent most of his cooking career in kitchens worldwide, including renowned restaurants like Quay Restaurants in Sydney and Noma in Copenhagen.
Ray is now an entrepreneur, owning and operating businesses ranging from bars to alternative protein production, and is the host of the popular FnB Podcast, ‘Ray Janson Radio,’ which features passionate and engaging FnB practitioners from all over Indonesia.

Hi! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your day-to-day activities.
Hi FoodieS! I’m Ray Janson, a chef, entrepreneur, and podcaster based in Jakarta. My day usually consists of running ‘Ray Janson Radio’ from 9 to 6 pm and visiting my bar. Currently, my business partners and I run two Bars, ‘Bura Bura’ in Jakarta Selatan and ‘Cheers Bar’ in Jakarta Barat. 

What is your favorite type of food?
Honest food that is cooked, using good quality ingredients. No unnecessary garnish, fusion, or truffle oil! I’m not too fond of truffle oil.

What usually attracts you to visit a place to eat?
If it’s a new restaurant, I always love to try it, especially when the food has originality. When I return to a restaurant, it’s always for the food, not the ambiance.

Do you have any memorable food memories?
A lot! Hahaha, but I will tell you my recent ones. It’s in the middle of the coffee plantation in Aceh.

My friends and I are learning about Coffee Gayo in Aceh; we visited this small village between the mountains, which has a vast lake called Laut Tawar, famous for its Tilapia. During one of our trips to the coffee plantation, we brought some fish with us and foraged some stuff on our hikes, such as their wild citrus, fresh Andaliman, and Terong Anggur (tamarillo). We fried the fish crispy over a wood fire and made sambal terong anggur using chilies, tamarillo, and andaliman. Eat it with Rice. We eat together around the fire with mountain views around us. It was perfect!

What is your most recent dining destination that left a good impression? Can you share with us your favorite menu from that place?

I recently visited SKYE and had an excellent experience; Chef Adhit has done wonders in transforming the menu and bringing in the new concept of Modern European Grill. My favorite was the ‘Rib Eye Pepper Steak MB7+’; it was my kind of steak. Perfect crust, the meat had a good bite, and the sauce was excellent. 

The next is Gandy Steakhouse, they recently opened near my house, so I visited with my wife. I always ordered the Fried Chicken Steak with extra Acar Bawang and their signature Dinner Loaf. For me, this dish was a taste full of memory; nothing can beat that.

Lastly, it’s E Mie Acuan in Pluit. I never ate E Mie before; it was a noodle dish from Medan with a sticky sauce that looked like papeda and tasted sweet, savory, and full of umami. The sauce has a distinct Ebi flavor; you eat it with pickles, fried shallot, and emping.

Where do you usually go to hang out with friends or for special occasions with Family?
Since most of my friends are in FnB, we usually gather to hang out at each other’s places. It’s easier, and we can stay as late as we want. Hahaha. Before going home, the night usually ends in Bura Bura for cocktails and beers. 

With special family occasions, on the other hand, we always eat at the OG Chinese food Places, which have been around for years. It’s either Angke, where the Pa Cam Kee and Lindung Cah Fumak are the best or Asun Seafood, which has the best-steamed lobster in Jakarta.

What are your favorite local dishes, and where do you go to eat them?
Bakmie, my favorite, is Bakmie Acai, located in Green Garden Complex in Jakarta Barat. The noodle, and the topping, are always good. The owner always gives me extra pork cracklings, hehehe.

Is there any food you can eat every day without getting bored?
Sate Ayam. The smell of chicken fat, mixed with kecap manis hitting the charcoal, is irresistible!

Where are your top three dining places always on your favorite list?
August – Hans, Budi, and Ardika are doing a fantastic job with the restaurant, introducing new types of restaurants that are rarely done in Jakarta. Asun Seafood – hands down, the best seafood in Jakarta! Super fresh ingredients, cooked simply, excellent price. Lastly, it’s Sun City – Their dim sum is the best in the city. Modern classic!

What kind of drinks do you usually have after a long day?
An icy beer. Preferably IPA.

What type of food have you enjoyed recently?
Nowadays, I enjoy finding relatively unknown restaurants or chefs and trying their food. Recently, I visited Chef Theodore at the Sixth, located in the northern part of Jakarta. He does a tasting course filled with top-quality ingredients flown directly from Japan. Super good!

Do you keep up with the latest food trend? If yes, what are your favorite food trends?
I have to keep up with the food trends because I’m in the industry. My favorite food trend right now is seeing people starting to look at the chefs and their style of cooking. Not only the ingredients like once upon a time, where they put truffle oil, salted egg yolk, or even boba on everything.

What is your go-to comfort food, and where do you usually get them?
Nasi Goreng Pete! I got them near my house. It’s called Nasi Goreng Ojolali!

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