JAZ by Ana Roš

During a brief visit to Slovenia, there was still time to explore the capital and discover two new openings on their debut night: the Hotel AS and its restaurant JAZ, the first project by Ana Roš outside Hiša Franko.

After several months with a pop-up in the city and numerous events, Ana joined forces with the Raspopović family (a historic name in Slovenian gastronomy) to open her establishment in the capital.

But don’t be mistaken in thinking this is another fine dining project with ambitions for stars and significant accolades. No! Here, Ana aims to be herself (JAZ means “I” in Slovenian) as a diner, offering simple, shareable dishes that shed the apparent complexity of her usual cuisine while maintaining her commitment to the choice and origin of ingredients. Ana describes it as “Young dining,” a young and unpretentious concept, a restaurant for every day that aims to bring an international and cosmopolitan atmosphere to Ljubljana.

To achieve this, she surrounded herself with “her people,” former chefs from Hiša Franko with long careers and experience in some of the world’s best restaurants. This includes the Portuguese chef Inês Silva Azevedo, who has worked at Cantinho do Avillez, 100 Maneiras, Mugaritz, Geranium, and Hiša Franko (she had returned to Portugal at the time this article was written).

The decor is vibrant and well-executed, with an exciting contrast of modern design and comfort, similar to the rest of the hotel.

Oysters, apple verjus, pear, cucumber, leche de tigre, and pine oil

On our first visit, expectations were high. There was a sense of anticipation, with the house full of customers excited to see what the famous chef would bring to the capital.

We started with very well-executed cocktails, also created by Anja Skrbinek, the beverage manager at Hiša Franko, and oysters paired with fresh and herbal flavors.

Ana’s Vitello Tonnato

Next came a delicious Vitello Tonnato, nicely complemented with pumpkin seeds, herbs, oils, capers, and ceviche with fermented tomato water, melon, and herb oil. The latter was less appealing to my palate, as I prefer a pungent and acidic ceviche, whereas this one was more balanced with a hint of sweetness.

Ceviche com leche de tigre de água de tomate fermantada
Ceviche with leche de tigre of fermented tomato water

We continued excellently with seasonal root vegetables and sinful Sardine Bruschettas with oyster mayonnaise, tomato, and basil.

Sardine Bruschetta

By this time, I, who generally avoid newly opened places, was captivated by the combinations of comfort and technical twists in the dishes. A good example is the Pasta Ana, which was more of a “homemade” version than at her starred restaurant, yet still prepared with Ana’s father’s same Istrian tomato sauce and the cottage cheese from the Soca Valley mountains. A dish as simple as it is delicious, showcasing another side of the chef, reminiscent of a dish her mother always prepared for her and that she continues to make in her private retreat.

Ana Roš presenting her Pasta Ana
Pasta Ana

With a lively atmosphere of sharing, high music, and good company, we sampled the entire menu and its various registers. After the pasta, there was a decadent Focaccia stuffed with porchetta, cheese, vegetables, and truffle, with crispy fries accompanied by homemade sauces. This demonstrated that here, more than a gastronomic concept, we enjoyed dishes and flavors the chef loves to eat and share relaxedly.

Focaccia with Porchetta

The dishes kept coming, and the one that surprised me the most was a Waldorf Salad, notable for its shiso notes and the sweetness of semi-dried beetroot. A salad full of layers, textures, and techniques, which I could easily eat daily, and some gnocchi still under development, showed that it was an unfinished dish.

Walford Salad
Spaghetti with Tolmin and truffle

In the style of a Cacio e Pepe 2.0, we had spaghetti with a Tolmin cheese cream and truffle, indulgent and delicious as expected, and a “much-maligned” Schnitzel. Ana told us, “It’s hard to find a good schnitzel in the city today,” so she wanted to bring back some of the traditions that strongly influenced Austria, Italy, and Slovenia. This classic is served here with creamy mashed potatoes, grapefruit, and a salad full of textures. Crunchy, moist, and well-flavored, it was another testament to JAZ’s excellent mark on comfort food.


We then moved on to two slightly more complex main dishes: first, a sea bream with roasted potatoes, cabbage, and a rich sauce, followed by roe deer (one of the chef’s favorite ingredients) with celery purée, black truffle, and corn purée. Both were well-executed, with a distinctly autumnal feel and refined technique, resulting in a rich and comforting taste.

We finished with desserts, the highlight of which were the various house-made ice creams. This indicates that Ana’s next venture could very well be an ice cream parlor after two restaurants and a bakery.


Nonetheless, the standout was clearly a classic from Kobarid that I hadn’t tried during my visit to Hiša Franko — the Kobarid štruklji, a dumpling filled with walnuts, raisins, and breadcrumbs and drenched in plenty of butter and caramel.

Kobarid štruklji

A special mention goes to the service, which on the first night was surprisingly positive and made me reconsider my stance on newly opened restaurants. Good knowledge, friendliness, and the drive expected of a truly cosmopolitan restaurant.

Final Thoughts

Those who seek out Slovenia rarely do so for its gastronomy, with the obvious exception being Ana Roš’s cuisine at Hiša Franko. This has opened doors to a new generation of more daring chefs and projects in the country and sparked local interest in more than just grandmother’s cooking.

This is where JAZ fits in. It is a young and cosmopolitan project that brings the perfect union of cuisine, comfort, technique, and modernity to the capital in a space where you want to linger.

Whether for a delicious breakfast or a dinner with friends, Ana’s new project is a must-visit in Ljubljana.

Prices from 60€ (Without wines)
As Hotel – Čopova ulica 5a, 1000, Ljubljana – Slovenia


Photos: Flavors & Senses
Text: João Oliveira
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