CONTRIBUTED BY LEAH MAGID
Just a few things I need to tell you before I get to the point of this story:
1. Several years before the Star Wars ™movies came out, my aunt put my hair in big cinnamon-roll buns on the sides of my head.
2. My name is Leah. It is, properly pronounced, the same as Princess Leia. “Lei-ah”.
3. This caused me no end of teasing when the movie came out.
4. Then I saw the movie.
5. And love me some Star Wars.
6. I love French bakeries. Boulangerie, patisserie or combination of both, I’m in heaven when I see one and in the stratosphere when it’s a great one.
7. There is a French Bakery in Chatan Cho that is run by a man who is a Jedi.
Okay, so the baker, Higa Takashi didn’t study on Tatooine and he didn’t learn his craft from Yoda. But given the skills the man has, the love he has for Star Wars ™ and the general feeling of something really special at Boulangerie Epi de Ble, He studied in Okinawa and Osaka (the culinary heart of Japan) under German and French (jedi?) masters.
What does this mean for you? This means delectable, varied and wholesome baked goods made with pride and care. Flaky croissants, stollen at Christmas and Gallette de Rois, complete with ceramic baby, in January. Pain au japone, pain de champagne, pretzels, chapata, baguette…pizza, scones, ancienne. Gorgeous little custard pies and tender Danish glistening with sugar glaze and topped with perky little raspberries round out the selection.
Spoil your dinner? Not even. The man makes pizza. There is Curry Bread with Kakuni (finely cut pork with shoyu) or the sandwich of the day. It’s a one-stop .
Need an “early” morning breakfast? There is coffee and they open at 8:00 am and they have peanut butter, caramel or chocolate rusk to go as well as small scones right by the register.
If you have a little time and the weather is nice, there is a small seating area in the parking lot. It’s also just a short walk to the beach from here, so it’s reasonable to grab something to go.
The prices are great for authentically made, honest baked goods. Takashi uses only carefully selected wheat flour, natural yeast and no artificial additives. You can watch the preparation and the baking up close and the feeling is, indeed, personal.
Sadly, there is no try, there is only buy. So stop in (any day but Sunday) to see what the daily and monthly specials are and get some good, hearty sustenance served with a smile.
If I were greedy and selfish, I would simply say “These are not the rolls you’re looking for” and point you towards the closest konbini. However, I’m trying to help you out here. I don’t know who you are or where you came from, but from now on you’ll do as I tell you, okay? Go see Higa Takashi. Grab a tray and a set of tongs, pick and choose from the clearly labeled offerings and enjoy the atmosphere and aromas. While your order is being wrapped, see how many Star Wars figurines you can spot – particularly C3P0.
May the Force be with you.
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8:00 am until the goods are gone. (Closed Sunday).
Address: 1-11-11 Kitamae, Chatan Cho.
Payment: Yen or Visa. The prices are decent. From Y65 for a sizable, plain bun to Y2,300 for January’s monthly special and everything in between – average between Y180 and Y600 per item.
Directions: From Araha Beach (San A Hambytown) intersection: Head south on the “beach road” and watch for Alaha Dental on the right. You’ll see Kinjo’s Yakiniku place on the left and a small blackboard sign that says “Bakery”. It is right across from Sunshine Montessori School in Chatan-Cho, Nakagami Area, kind of behind CoCo’s Curry on 58.