the Kedai roof - impressive restaurant and select shop

Kedai – selected Balinese products

Bali – this small island contains so much! The smiles of people, the green of the rice-paddies, the spicy scent in the air, palm trees and oily tourists beneath getting a massage…

Written by Uleshka

I absolutely fell in love with this island about 12 years ago, but coming back this year made me realize a few things gone wrong. The shopping streets in Ubud seem like a never-ending repetition of sarong shops, wood carving and more sarong shops. Giraffe shaped CD racks are literally piling up on the side of the road, pouring out of the two shop next to that pile and also at the shop on the other side of the street. Tons of similar products all along this road – and all over the island.

I felt pretty miserable thinking that people spend so much time, energy and resources making these products, which nobody seems to need anymore.

The number of shops simply exploded over the years, but there are less tourists buying due to the bomb attacks. Another issue is, that the products they sell today are the same they sold years back. Do rich tourists who traveled the world really need another carved giraffe? Maybe, but it is much more likely that they prefer something they can actually use at home.

What they want is a crafted design product with a local taste.


napkin rings – various designs

simple and elegant wooden tools with a local flavor

Half broken-hearted about this trap local shop owners and crafters seem to be in, I already imagined design education projects for Bali’s local crafters combined with fair trade, … when my feet just beat me, it got dark and I stopped. To my big surprise I found myself standing in front of something, which was already very close to what I was just hoping for to happen more on Bali…

Kedai restaurant at night

Restaurant & “select shop” Kedai is located in the heart of Candidasa (East Bali) overlooking the ocean. A beautifully un-cut thatched roof acts as a restaurant with a perfect menu, while the other little hut next door has a great selection of Balinese handcrafted products.


the impressive bamboo structure as seen from inside the restaurant

un-cut thatched roof for restaurant, shop and ‘relaxing platform’ as seen all over Bali

The people behind this different shop are American Tara Murff married to Balinese Odeck. They obviously have a good feeling for a contemporary Balinese style picking up the best of the simplest products available on the island.

take your time while experiencing the different textures of the few products selected

You might have seen some of Kedai’s products around when spending time on Bali, but this limited selection in a spacious, calming shop actually allows the objects to breathe and unfold their beauty.

different shaped stone vases and view outside

I very much liked this very simple soap dish made of stone. Keeping the natural curves of the heavy stone gives it an earthy organic feel and yet it acts as a beautiful, simple object that suits every designer bath.

soap dish out of heavy, solid stone

Kedai’s products are a litte more pricy than the items you find at a souvenir stand, but the difference lies in their quality and – if the staff’s English was reliable – fair trade.


traditional bowl

prices a bit higher
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than usual, which pays for the extremely nice ambiance and hopefully means, that more money goes to their crafters, too
extremly friendly staff

Besides the truly friendly staff and the nice products in the shop, the restaurant is worth a visit! Enjoying delicious food while resting in this open space, you immediately get all energy back from a long day walking. A romantic view over the sea, a cool breeze and cicadas singing next to you make it a perfect holiday experience.


Balinese appetizers – a chicken satay with a lime and peanut dip. Yummy!

sweet flowers everywhere

While doing a little research, I found out that Tara and Odeck have a couple of very beautiful buildings and projects on Bali, so they seem to be doing well. I very much hope that they collaborate respectfully with their crafters (looks like it from what you see on their website) and create more chances for local crafters to work on a contemporary Balinese style, that cherishes its roots.

simple baskets
woven containers – simple and beautiful

If you happen to be on Bali, jump in a taxi or take a transport to Kedai – the shop in Candidasa: Jalan Raya Candidasa, Bali 80851, Telepone +62 363 42020.

soap dish made from porous volcanic stone

I don’t really know how to help local crafters and/or shop keepers (and I am certainly no expert in this field anyway)… I am simply worrying about where it will go if they keep doing what they are doing, producing the same souvenirs over and over again.

I also don’t know enough about Kedai to promote it as the ultimate solution, but putting more emphasis on a limited but diversified selection of products and giving tourists (like me) the feeling, that they pay an appropriate price for something while the actual craftsman gets his share, might be something that works better… I hope!

What do you think?

more Kedai selected products on display – and a relaxed staff watering the plants outside

Love and respect to everyone on this beautiful island.

  • http://www.noisestudio.com x-noise

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  • http://weekeat.com Wee Keat

    Nice coverage! I like the soap dish too! Just so you know, the word “kedai” in Malay means shop or stall.

  • http://www.pingmag.jp Uleshka

    It also sounds close to a Japanese word describing an area in a temple – I thought that is quite suitable in terms of how it looks with its massive roof ;-)

  • ill p.e.

    sounds also like mobile phone in japanes e with a very bavarian accent….

  • http://www.pingmag.jp Uleshka

    Finally, I got sent some answers to my questions from Tara and Odeck, the couple behind Kedai:

    1. Who were the designers behind Kedai?

    In terms of design of the restaurant & shop, it was very much concepted by my husband Odeck. Because we have contracted the land for only 10 years, we wanted to use building materials that are environmentally
    sensitive. So we choose to work with Bamboo as it is the best renewable resource for building. The design was inspired by architecture in local east Bali and Lombok, particularly the Sasak village.

    1. Who are our Crafters?

    Our artists and crafts people for the products we
    sell, most of them are crafted in Bali. All the baskets, bags, shell work, wood spoons, chopsticks etc are crafted local in Bali. The stone items are all crafted in Central Java.

    1. Fair Trade?

    We try as much as possible to work directly with the
    crafters. Of course by doing the crafters benefit directly, and we can sell our items for a better price, as they are not going through a middle person.
    With almost all product lines we are working directly with the crafters…in some cases if the crafters are overloaded with orders, they will outsource to neighboring crafters, who share the same talent. From time to time we do work with an artist who out sources the production, but we try to work with designers who practice fair trade.

    1. Who works for you?

    In Kedai, all of our staff are local from east Bali area. Even the management is local.

    1. Other projects?

    Please see our website for the other projects we are involved in. http://www.dekco.com

  • http://www.breedmag.com/ breed

    Thanx to Uleshka for the exclusive coverage on Bali (Kedai) selected product issues. Great thought for discussion. Seems like they do need to develop new useful products. Lets find a way to update these crafters to produce more useful / current trend products. Much love – keep these Bali articles coming. It’s a great island.

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  • france Savons

    Hello,
    We are interested in your soap dishes.
    Are you able to send them in France?
    And what is the price for 50 of each?
    Thanks and best regards

  • http://www.resimcim.net/ resim

    thanks for the article…

  • Anonymous

    Loveeee everything about Bali..
    Thanks a lot for this review, Ping Mag!
    Definitely gonna visit Kedai someday :)

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  • Purba Negoro

    Kedai is Javanese NOT malay.
    Malay is a bastardization of vulgar street Javanese.
    Malaysian is based on Batavian Malay= trade language spoken by Indonesian sailors.
    Malaysia is an artificial British puppet state created solely for the British to retain their plantations and oil fields.
    It has no historical precedent other than unimportant vassal of Javanese and Sumatran kings.

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