The bread that is baked at Boulangerie Nanda is described as “artisan”, the bakers using their hands to knead their breads. As owner Jennifer Yeh explains, “Using your hands is how you can feel that the dough is pulling. You need to smell, you need to taste. You can’t achieve that by using a machine”. Boulangerie Nanda uses organic, natural ingredients, and where possible, locally produced ingredients from other artisan suppliers including Okra Food, Le Fromager de Pekin, and Rickshaw Roasters.
The bakery and café closed briefly during the summer, to allow staff to develop new product lines. These have included sour dough sliced loaves, a tarte flamme with caramelized onions, and an incredibly moreish canelé, a small French pastry with a soft and tender custard center and a dark, thick caramelized crust.
Boulangerie Nanda offers a superb range of freshly baked goods. Breads to take away include baguettes, focaccia, walnut and whole wheat rolls, raisin sliced loaves, and the honey wheat germ loaf is incredibly popular. Its light texture and subtle sweet flavor, makes it the perfect breakfast loaf. Bagels include raisin, everything, and plain, and there are light and flaky pastries to enjoy, including croissants, cinnamon swirls, and blueberry puffs. Their stand out cake for me is the carrot cake, with its naturally sweetened frosting and with enough grated carrot to lend a wonderful texture.
Cakes can be made to order, including Birthday cakes and cupcakes. Where possible, Yeh will bake according to specific requests and requirements from customers. So if its gluten free, wheat free, or lactose free that you need, this is the place to go.
I stopped by for lunch and enjoyed a grilled chicken sandwich, on toasted bread. The honey mustard mayonnaise was wonderfully tangy, the chicken juicy and plentiful, and sliced tomatoes with salad leaves, were fresh and crisp. Other sandwich fillings include BLT bacon, lettuce, tomato, grilled vegetables with home-made pesto and ricotta, grilled cheese, and grilled maple bacon with organic apple. Prices range from RMB 44-52.
Salads include the classic caesar or cobb, to which you can add grilled chicken breast, smoked salmon, or blue cheese. You can also order quiche as a dine-in or take-out option. My kids thoroughly devoured their raisin and walnut bagels, with cream cheese spread. Other bagel toppings include smoked salmon, cheddar cheese, and eggs, which you can have on any of their bagel flavors.
To drink, the kids lapped up their fresh organic carrot juice, whilst I enjoyed a refreshing juice of apple, orange and ginger. Prices range from RMB 30-40, and if you’re feeling very virtuous, you can add a wheat grass shot for RMB 12. Hot beverages include a selection of teas, coffees, and spicy hot chocolate. I was sad to see that their addictive bagel chips were no longer on the menu. So instead I took away a bag of home-made granola, and some organic peanut butter.
Daily 7.30am-7.30pm, Cathay View Plaza, Xiang Jiang Bei Lu, Chaoyang District (8459 0134, firstname.lastname@example.org)
beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent Sally Wilson moved to Beijing in 2010 from the UK with her husband and son. Her daughter was born here in 2011 and both her kids keep her happily busy. In her spare time, Sally loves to stroll through Beijing’s hutongs and parks. She is a (most of the time) keen runner and loves reading: books, magazines, news, and celeb websites – anything really. Sally is also a bit of a foodie and loves trying out new restaurants.
Photos: Sally Wilson, Rebecca Siegel (flickr)