BAKERY & TABLE
938 Piikoi St.
Phone number(808) 592-7777
For what seems like forever, I have watched construction slowly trans form an old lot on the corner of King and Piikoi into a sleek and modern, very appealing building. When it finally opened as Japanese-inspired bakery and restaurant Bakery & Table, I made a mental note to head over in the very near future.
Except I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on at Bakery & Table. Hours posted on various sites online indicated that it was open seven days a week, but a Sunday drive-by indicated otherwise. Photos I saw online teased of plated meals available during lunch and dinner, but a phone call one morning informed me that the restaurant was still figuring things out.
That’s fine, I told myself. New restaurants, after all, are entitled to a period where kinks and quirks are worked out. I waited, biding my time and unsure of when to take a chance with a meal there, and settled on simply trying their pastries for now.
Before I get to the food, let me tell you about the ambiance. It’s open and bright without being too highbrow. I can easily imagine working on a story in some quiet corner. The downstairs area serves as a café of sorts, where you can fill a tray with pastries before ordering coffee or tea at the counter. Upstairs, which was closed off when I was there since I arrived before lunch service began, seemed to be more of a formal dining area.
When I think back to the 15 minutes or so that I spent inside Bakery & Table, it’s the feel of the place that had me curious for more because the pastries were … Well, they were just OK.
The Sausage Bun (which I scarfed down before I snapped a photo) was not unlike similar versions I have tried at any other Japanese bakery. This isn’t a bad thing — it had that nice arabiki (Japanese-style sausage) flavor, with a drizzle of sweet mayo over the top. It just wasn’t anything new.
The Nama Chocolate Horn also caught my eye, and this one didn’t disappoint. It was advertised with a little sign on the side that claimed it the No. 1-seller in Japan, and I can see why. It’s a twisted bun, almost like a croissant but with doughier bread. Inside is chocolate custard, and the top is dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with macadamia nuts. It was sweet, but not overwhelmingly so and certainly the highlight of what I sampled.
Sadly, the Blueberry Danish was my least favorite, if only because I had such high expectations. There I sat, poised to take a bite of flaky, crisp crust and instead it was dense and gummy. The blueberries, too, could have been cooked a little longer and with just a tad more sugar. (No competition for the one at Fendu Boulangerie, if we’re being real.)
Still, I’m just so drawn to returning to that pretty building. The photos I’ve seen of its lunch and dinner meals look pretty killer, too. So hopefully, one day soon, I’ll have more to report to you.
FOOD TO GIVE
In case you’ve somehow forgotten, Mother’s Day is this Sunday. It’s OK, I haven’t found a gift for my mom yet either. My fiancé has, though.
He’s recently gotten into the habit of stopping in at Japanese-style sweet shop Minamoto Kitchoan in Ala Moana Center to pick up gifts for family members and colleagues. He argues that anyone would be thrilled to receive something from Minamoto Kitchoan, and on this I can agree.
When we stopped in recently (as in earlier this week), I picked up a Kasutera green tea sponge cake for my grandma. She was so excited when I gave it to her that she asked I unwrap it immediately.
I can’t really blame her. Everything is packaged so nicely that just looking at it is enough to excite. Then there’s the fact that literally everything looks like an edible piece of art. My personal favorite is the Paves Au Chocolat Truffles (pictured). Those little squares just melt right on your tongue.
The best part? Everything at Minamoto Kitchoan is available in a wide range of prices. Just remember to stick around when Mom opens her gift so that you can get a taste, too.