A French-style bakery for the sensesColumns Lite Bites
January 18, 2015
Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
Since its opening in 2009, Fendu Boulangerie in Manoa Marketplace has become a favorite neighborhood bakery with many familiar faces stopping in daily for its fresh breads, sandwiches, desserts and more.
Sitting outside during a recent visit, I caught myself taking a deep breath in every time the door opened, just to get a whiff of all the freshly baked breads. It’s an aroma that brings an instant smile to my face. No wonder everyone here is so friendly.
“I know a lot of my customers,” says owner and chef Niel Koep. “We have people who come every day, and I’m very thankful for that. We want to thank all of our patrons for our continued success.”
Before doors open at 7:30 each morning, Koep and his team have already spent hours in the kitchen producing a huge assortment of hearth-baked breads, including Whole Wheat, French Sourdough, Multi-grain Bread with Flax Seed, Mitches, Sweet Onion Naan, Pain Fendu, Baguette and more.
“It’s European style,” says Koep. ” Everything is baked fresh. We’re using butter, olive oil or vegetable oil. There’s no usage of shortening. We like to go easy on the sugar and salt.”
Fendu Boulangerie also offers daily bread and lunch specials, and a full menu of rustic gourmet sandwiches and pizza. Among the most popular breakfast items is Petite Croissant ($5.50) with oven-roasted smoked turkey and/or black forest ham, along with bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and provolone cheese. It’s a quick made-to-order item that is perfect for those in a hurry. The croissants are made with European butter, and have a nice, flaky texture. Also, the lettuce is from nearby Manoa Valley Greens, and the tomatoes also come from a local farmer.
Another top item is Carrot Cake Round ($4.50), which is made with real carrots, and accented with pecans, raisins and a bit of cinnamon. A larger loaf also is available for $8.50.
On the day we visited, the daily bread special was Focaccia with Cheese (available Thursdays, regular $5.85, petit $3.60). It’s a surprisingly light, fresh, soft and moist focaccia, made with wheat flour and potato flour. There also is a hint of Hawaiian salt with Parmesan reggiano and gorgonzola cheeses.
“I’ve always wanted to have my own business, and I’ve always wanted to be independent,” adds Koep, noting that he plans to expand with another location opening hopefully sometime this year. “I always liked (the interaction between) me and the customers.”
2752 Woodlawn Drive Suite 5-119
Monday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.