Juice Ja café has a warm and welcoming allure, vines dangle over the entrance and the front steps are lined with fresh green coconuts and pots of wheatgrass. This homestyle cafe is one of Ubud’s original healthy eateries, and has been serving up nutritious well priced food for the last 12 years. I often drop by when I am in Ubud, sometimes for something as simple as a homemade bagel with humus or cashew nut butter, a chocolate chip cookie, or a bag of cashew nuts; and sometimes a relaxed meal with friends.
When Suzan Kohlik first opened Juice Ja she limited the menu to fresh extracted juices, and cakes and pies that she baked herself. Over the years it evolved into a full fledged café offerings soups, salads, crepes, burgers, sandwiches and Indonesian dishes. These days she has her own organic farm to supply fresh produce and also supports a number of cottage industries who provide the nuts, seeds, coconut oil and organic beauty products that are on sale. Suzan tells me that she likes to “Work as much as possible with local farmers, and local products,” and tries to be as ethically correct as possible in regards to staff and the environment. Water bottle refills are available, and the café has the only dvd exchange I have seen on the island; there is also a plethora of brochures pertaining to Ubuds thriving holistic scene.
We take a seat upstairs, a charming area with a long breakfast counter overlooking the street, and walls draped in magnificent batik prints. A round of health cocktails are definitely in order; I really enjoy the Tumeric Root Lemon and Honey, with the earthy slightly peppery taste of tumeric tempered with citrus and the sweetness of honey. I also try my first ever shot of Wheat Grass Juice proclaimed as ‘natures great healer’ it is sweeter and more pleasant than I expected. There is also a Green Juice, an interesting concoction of apple, cucumber, parsley, lemon, ginger and lettuce.
The Tofu Sesame Salad is always an excellent choice, lightly pan fried tofu marinated in soya sauce served with crunchy grated carrot, mixed leaves, a ginger sesame dressing and crunchy toasted baguette. I also try the Mung Bean Burger, another first for me, it is soft and flavorful with just a hint of mustard and comes, as all burgers should, with crunchy fries. Sandwiches are substantial, and wholesome, and the Grilled Tuna Steak with potatoes and Spinach is always a favorite. Juice Ja’s Famous Carrot Cake is the stuff of legends but I can’t resist the Mulberry Mango Crumble, the combination of fruit is superb and the crumble is divine.
As well as being a very talented baker, Suzan is also a gifted potter (ceramicist) and her art work, including beautiful vases pots and platters decorate the café. She also teaches workshops at her studio, Sari Api.
Juice Ja Café
Dewi Sitra Street
Ubud +62 361971056