Keeping It Fresh At Fendu Boulangerie
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When it comes to describing Fendu Boulangerie’s “unique” factor, bakery chef and owner Niel Koep only needs one word: fresh.
“We are a bakery that specializes in bread,” Koep says. “We bake our breads and pastries fresh every single day. The main focus is to make products that are all natural. We add no chemicals and we use no hydrogenated shortenings.”
In addition, Koep explains that while the European-style bakery offers its customers smaller pastries, its products still exude rich flavors.
“For example, the portion size of one of our Danishes is one-third the size of what you’d typically find in a bakery in Hawaii,” Koep says. “In Europe, they eat a lot of rich things, but not in large quantities, not in large portions.”
Fendu Boulangerie opened in March 2009 in Manoa Marketplace. While the bakery specializes in breads, its menu has expanded during the past two years.
“We added more (items) on the savory side,” he says. “We added sandwiches, and after we added sandwiches, we added Paninis. Pizza was always in the plan. We also added the Island Style Chicken Pot Pie (regular $9.50, petite $5.50).”
Because Fendu Boulangerie opens early, customers can start off their morning with an assortment of freshly baked pastries. Among popular choices are the Chocolate Croissant ($2) and the Lychee Streusel Danish ($2).
“The chocolate croissant is a croissant dough that’s cut into a rectangle with a strip of French chocolate inside,” Koep says. “Our Lychee Streusel Danish is also very popular. It’s a square of flaky Danish dough that has an almond cream, pastry cream and then the lychee on top.”
The aroma of fresh breads also draws customers, who frequently choose to purchase Multigrain Bread with Flax Seed (regular $4.50, petite $2.75) or the Baguette (regular $3.75, petite $2.25). The bakery’s name in itself signifies the importance of bread products.
“‘Fendu’ is a classic French loaf of bread,” Koep explains. “There’s different shapes; fendu is a split loaf. ‘Boulangerie’ means it’s a bakery that specializes in bread.”
Koep says that the bakery tends to be the busiest during lunch, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Customers can choose from a variety of Rustic Gourmet Sandwiches, such as the highly requested Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich ($7) — served on sweet onion Naan bread with fresh farm greens and tomatoes — and the Oven Roasted Smoked Turkey/Black Forest Ham Sandwich ($7), bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, provolone cheese and Dijon mustard atop a rustic bread bun. These two sandwiches are the most popular, according to Koep.
Rustic Gourmet Pizzas and paninis are available to customers as well. The latter was added to the menu recently; customers now have grilled options such as the Chicken Cordon Blue Panini ($8.50) — a tenderloin chicken sandwich with sweet onions, Gouda and Swiss cheese, fresh sage, tomatoes and Black Forest ham — and the Vegetarian Special Panini ($7.50), a whole wheat bread sandwich with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, Japanese eggplant, bell peppers, sweet onions, fresh tomato, herbs, fresh mozzarella cheese and Hamakua Farms mushrooms.
“We added them (paninis) about two months ago now,” Koep affirms.
In terms of desserts, customers can choose from delicacies such as the Lilikoi Cheesecake ($4.50 per slice) and the Valrohna Chocolate Mousse Cake ($4.50 per slice) to the exquisitely decorated Pear and Almond Tarte ($2.75), but two desserts in particular remain more popular than the rest.
“Our Mini Fuji Apple Crumble Pies ($5.50) and our Valrohna Dark Chocolate Dome ($5.75) are our two best sellers,” Koep says. “When it comes to signature items, though, our Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich and our Chocolate Croissant are probably what we’re best known for.”
While Fendu Boulangerie’s menu has expanded just a few months ago, Koep is already planning to implement further changes.
“We are planning on adding breakfast sandwiches and macaroons, which are a hot item right now,” he says.
- Manoa Marketplace
- 2752 Woodlawn Drive #5119
- Honolulu, HI 96822
- (808) 988-4310
- 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Tuesday – Saturday
- 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Closed Mondays