The Dutch like their cakes – especially their appeltaart. It has more apple than bread and it is usually served with delicious whipped cream. In many restaurants of the country you can see that their appeltaart has a last name: Dudok. Who would have thought that it all began with designing an insurance building?
Dudok is a household name for cakes in the Netherlands. In the last few years, they have expanded to most big cities in the country. However, their first restaurant was opened here in Rotterdam. And they take their name from the last name of the architect that designed their first seat, in the heart of the city.
As you might know, a good part of Rotterdam was destroyed during a bombarding early in WWII. The city took that disaster as an opportunity & several architects were called upon to rebuild the city. At the time, Willem Dudok was working for the insurance company De Nederlander and designed the perfect mix of office space and dwellings, as was the plan for the city. The beautiful office space housed government offices for a while and even a carpet store, but it was reopened to the public in all its splendor as the Grand Café Dudok in 1991.
So, go to the Dudok and imagine this beautiful, noisy space, as a quiet insurance company. While you are at it, try their famous cakes. Or enjoy my favorite lunch platter: the 12 uurtje – a small bowl of soup, egg salad and a croquette.