home of the gluten-free pioneers in Bali
We have had our sights on Oka’s Bakery & Cafe for years and have been curiously following the changes of this place closely. Seven years ago they started as a warung and bakery of sweet Indonesian bread. Although there are still some Indonesian dishes on the menu, Oka’s slowly changed into a healthy hotspot with homemade gluten free bread, raw cakes, muffins, cookies, pies and raw balls.
The owner, Ketut, is a hardworking woman and real baking goddess. She is the kind of woman that likes to support the community with healthier food and gives kids bread for free. She keeps her products well priced because she understands that young expats in Canggu want to eat healthy and they don’t have that much to spend like tourists. She is also open to making new recipes for her guests. Ketut shared, “I always listen to my customers and try to meet their wishes.”
She started the warung when there were not many tourists in this area. Nowadays, the flow of healthy food lovers to Canggu is rising. However, this wasn’t the main reason she started making gluten free products. It was a teacher at her daughter’s school who told her about a new type of bread what was easier to digest. She had created different recipes with cassava, rice and potato flour. She always likes to try something new, especially for her daughter who has Down syndrome.
Baked fresh daily at 7am, her bread has become popular through word of mouth. Oka’s gluten free bread is not only famous on the island but even abroad. She also delivers to many hotels and restaurants. Looking at the great variety like potato-spinach, pumpkin-spinach, and black rice potatoes, you can really feel Ketut’s love for her product. She laughed as she said, “But I am an Indonesian, I can’t eat only bread. I still need some rice to feel full.”
Even the building has experienced a full makeover. From the traditional warung style, it changed into an industrial looking space with glass walls and a high ceiling. The look and feel are spacious yet cosy, with a bright wooden interior and plenty of natural light shining in.
Besides bread, Oka sells bulk dried fruits, nuts, seeds, spices and herbal tea. There is also a mini fruit market and they make their own granola, pesto, hummus, tahini, and nut butters (cashew, peanut, and almond). Yummy! The homemade jams, such as banana date, is low in sugar and has real chunks of bananas in it. Try the green juice with aloe vera, coconut water, and lime – it is the most refreshing thirst-quencher after a sweaty yoga class. The breakfast fruit bowls are divine and the vegan nachos made of mixed seed crackers make an inventive healthy snack. For her vegan products she uses chia seed, banana or avocado instead of eggs. The taste of some of her goods, like the raw balls and cookies, can be a little bit refined. But like Ketut said, she is always trying to optimize her products.
For a quiet place to work and enjoy a coffee, you are better off choosing a place that is a bit quieter and has a strong wifi connection. However, If you want to catch up with friends to enjoy or take away your healthy goodies, scoot down to Oka’s!
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