2065 S. Beretania St. Honolulu, HI
Phone number (808) 946-1074
My fiancé works with the nicest, most thoughtful person I have ever met.
Her name is Joyce, and she’s always finding some way to make people feel special. She sometimes brings in breakfast to share, and the apple bananas that always sit on the snack table are her doing.
Joyce is just that kind of standout person.
It was because of Joyce that I felt compelled to stop in at Watanabe Bakery. Over the weekend, she gifted us a basket of bread from Watanabe Bakery as a welcome back gift for my fiancé’s grandmother and aunt who were returning home from Japan — only this basket was a bread bowl, and placed in it were pastries shaped and decorated to look like animals.
The best part is that it all tastes as good as it looks.
My favorite is the rabbit, filled with an apple pie-like mixture. It’s soft and sweet, and I’d recommend heating it up a little before biting in. Other animals include bears, elephants, turtles and some other creature (a Mini Wanpan, pictured) I can’t quite figure out, filled with chocolate, custard or azuki beans. The azuki beans, by the way, are prepared just how I like them: a little sugary with chunks of bean for texture.
The rest of the selection at Watanabe Bakery is much like any Japanese-inspired bread shop. There are savory items like my always-favorite Tuna Roll — a slightly flattened bread roll with tuna and mayo in the center — and others with ham and sausages.
Then there are tarts and slices of cakes, along with my new favorite donuts and Danish donuts. Go for the mini donuts, if only so you can sample more — also, because they are miniature. I discovered, too, that Danish donuts are really just like donut holes. These versions were denser than a regular cake donut. Its texture was much more like a “cronut,” with layers of flaky, buttery bread that made it impossible to stop eating.
Also at Watanabe Bakery is a selection of Japanese-style sandwiches made with pillowy bread. The container I left with included a little bit of everything: smoked salmon, egg salad and a few lunchmeat variations. If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, there are tonkatsu and chicken katsu sandwiches that are rich and filling.
Just be sure not to get everything at once, and then proceed to “sample” it all like I did. You’ll be sitting at work in the afternoon, foggy in the head because of a self-induced bread coma.
PARKING Easy breezy, with a big lot
PRICE POINT Most items are under $3
PANKO? Watanabe Bakery sells a house-made creation