Discover Benelux, Issue 35, November 2016

Page 24

Discover Benelux | Highlights | Dam, Nieuwmarkt & Waterlooplein


Espressobar Puccini is a well-known name in Amsterdam. This cosy espresso bar serves fine Italian coffee. The lunch menu is freshly prepared and served in a modest setting that can seat 26 inside and 24 outside. Owner Wendela Wallenburg is feeling energised since becoming the owner of Puccini. “I worked here for six years before becoming the owner this year. I didn’t want to change the name because that is what people know.” Wallenburg always believed in the venue’s concept, so the decision to keep the name and atmosphere the same was not a hard one. “The bar has been in this spot for decades. We are right in the middle of the Joodskwartier in Amsterdam, which is known for its cultural status. We are right across the Stopera, home of Amsterdam’s city hall and the opera. We’re also located near the Waterlooplein.” Meals are prepared with fresh ingredients and the cookies and pastries are homemade,

as are delights such as the pesto, salad dressing and tapenade. You can also enjoy lemonade and all kinds of fresh juices. At Puccini, there are a wide variety of choices. Puccini is open seven days a week: weekdays from 8.30am to 6pm and at weekends from 9am to 6pm. “When there’s a ballet or opera performance, Puccini stays open until 8pm to serve pastas and salads.” For now, Wallenburg is happy with the bar’s legacy and making people happy. But she has many ideas for the future. Have a cup of Puccini’s coffee and take a look at

Adventurous chocolate flavours from Puccini Bomboni TEXT: STIAN SANGVIG  |  PHOTOS: PUCCINI BOMBONI

Beautifully situated on the Staalstraat in Amsterdam’s historical city centre, the first of Puccini Bomboni’s two chocolate boutiques can be found. “The name comes from the composer Puccini, whose works were frequently performed at the nearby opera house,” the company’s operations director Ivor Brinkman explains. The first dessert shop was opened in 1988 before they gradually moved into fine chocolates. A second shop can be found on Amsterdam’s Singel. “We are the world’s only Netherlands-based top ten chocolatier,” Brinkman continues. Puccini’s vision for chocolate seems clear: “Each Puccini chocolate should be a unique experience. Pure of taste. When you eat chocolate, you should taste chocolate.” Only the best ingredients are good enough for Puccini Bomboni’s experienced chocolatiers to put their vision into practice. In addition to chocolate from the finest cocoa, cream forms the foundation. Whilst their 24 | Issue 35 | November 2016

attitude to chocolate may be justifiably conservative to ensure quality, they are not shy of experimenting with adventurous flavours like pepper, lemongrass and nutmeg. “We are keen to create products nobody has thought of, and entirely according to in-house developed recipes,” adds chief chocolatier Sabine van Weldam. Whilst their retail outlets are in Amsterdam only, Puccini Bomboni’s reputation is expanding well beyond both the city’s and the country’s limits. “Our next step is to make our chocolate accessible to everyone by selling it online,” Brinkman explains.

A range of luxury gift boxes was recently launched, too. International expansion may also find its way onto the agenda. “However, we will only expand if we can preserve the highest level of quality,” Brinkman concludes. For more information visit www. puccinibomboni. com. Access the recently launched online store directly via

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