It’s Back to Basics at Fendu

Digest Eat This

October 1, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Since Fendu Boulangerie opened in 2009, customers have been amazed at the many items it has to offer, from exquisite European-style pastries and rustic oven pizza, to the restaurant’s more recent melt-in-your-mouth panini menu. Sometimes, however, it’s important to focus on the simpler things in life, like some good ol’ bread and butter.

  • Multigrain Bread with Flax Seed ($4.50, regular; $2.75, petite)
  • Fendu Boulangerie chef/owner Niel Koep with the Multigrain Bread with Flax Seed ($4.50, regular; $2.75, petite)
  • Buckwheat Fig (Sunday Special, $5 per loaf)
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The eatery’s name says it all, with “fendu” referring to a classic French shape — the split-loaf — and “boulangerie” meaning a bakery that specializes in bread. The whiff of freshly baked goods greets customers who then face the difficult choice of selecting from a variety of specialty loaves offered every day or the Daily Bread Special option, all baked fresh every morning.

Actually, it’s safe to go with both, and you can start out with a loaf of the hearty Multigrain Bread with Flaxseed ($4.50 regular, $2.75 petit). Offered daily, this all-in-one item is a whole-wheat and rye bread packed with sesame seeds, oatmeal, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds. Great as the base for one of the bakery’s sandwiches, this bread is “definitely one of our most popular,” says chef and owner Niel Koep, who enjoys it most as toast for breakfast.

Next on the sampling list is the Buckwheat Fig Daily Bread Special ($5 per loaf), offered every Sunday. Koep came up with the recipe himself, after experimenting with buckwheat pear bread he learned to make at The National Baking Center in Minneapolis during the mid-’90s.

“I really, really like figs so I took one of our country bread formulas and played around with the amount of buckwheat. We tried some different types of dried figs and settled on the Black Mission Fig. It seems to have the best flavor and matches well with the buckwheat,” Koep explains. The rich and delicately sweetened loaf needs no accompaniment, but would be great if paired with wine and cheese for a gourmet picnic.

It’s more than great ingredients that make the loaves at Fendu Boulangerie so irresistible. “The bread we make here is natural, with no added chemicals and no conditioners,” says Koep. Not to mention the steam tube oven imported from France with a stone to make his breads truly hearth-baked. This modern version of a traditional baker’s oven is the perfect venue for the simple, yet high-quality breads baked to warmth and flawlessness by Koep and his staff.

Fendu Boulangerie

  • Where
    • Manoa Marketplace
    • 2752 Woodlawn Drive #5119
    • Honolulu, HI 96822
  • Call
    • (808) 988-4310
  • Hours
    • 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    • Tuesday – Saturday
    • 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    • Sundays
    • Closed Mondays