Curious about the story behind Vegan Restaurant Bonboon? Meet our passionate founder and manager who breathed life into this culinary paradise in 2018: Daphne Althoff. With a heart for animals and a passion for hospitality, she made her dream come true. Get to know the mind and driving force behind Bonboon including her challenges, moments of pride and favorite dishes to wake her up at night.

What is your role at restaurant Bonboon, and when did the adventure start?

I founded Bonboon in 2018, initially on KNSM Island. It started as a small restaurant that truly felt like my living room. I had the help of an essential chef, but besides that, I did everything myself: setting tables, helping guests, creating menus… cleaning the toilets was part of it too! In the restaurant, I surprised guests with the wonders of plant-based cuisine. Since then, I have covered the role of restaurant manager, immersing myself both front of house and behind the scenes in the operations of Bonboon.


What are you most proud of in your career?

I am proud that I was able to realize my dream and establish a successful restaurant. Especially since I had no hospitality experience when I began the Bonboon adventure. My courage and determination have gotten me far, and today I can share the beautiful vegan culinary experience with our guests. Every guest who is pleasantly surprised by what we do at Bonboon is proof to me that we are making a difference.


How did it feel to change locations, and how has this impacted Bonboon?

Our first location was great but small. The current space offers much more room, in multiple ways. We can accommodate more guests, there is more space to move around, and I feel mentally spacious with increased possibilities. Additionally, the ambiance of the current location better suits fine dining. Every detail in the space has been thoughtfully considered, and the beautiful design elements shine.


What do you enjoy most about working at Bonboon?

To me, taking care of our guests is the most enjoyable aspect of the work. It gives me immense satisfaction to make guests feel like the most important people of the evening from the moment they arrive until they leave. If they leave with a smile on their face, my evening is complete too!


Time to learn more about what inspires you in the kitchen! What dish could we wake you up for in the middle of the night?

I’m not a great sleeper, so if I’m finally dreaming, let me sleep! But of course, I’ll make an exception. You can wake me up for a dessert, any dessert really!


In addition to matching wines, Bonboon offers a special tea pairing. Which tea and dish combination do you find most surprising and why?

Currently, my favorite is the Cinnamon Oolong paired with the rice pudding with coconut, pandan and lemongrass, ketjap, pumpkin seed and coconut praline, grilled apricot, and peach. The flavor of the cinnamon in the tea pairs so incredibly well with the coconut rice pudding that it brings you to tears. Yes, that really happened.


What is your personal mission in the culinary world?

My mission is to show people that the plant-based kitchen can be much more varied and delicious than the kitchen with animal ingredients!


A glimpse into your personal life: how do you relax?

Walking in nature, exercising, and reading are my favorite ways to relax. I like being active, but I also find comfort in clearing my mind or reflect on the events of the day. A day at Bonboon can be quite eventful. Moments to relax in my free time keep my life balanced.


Which season do you like best and why?

I love spring because it’s not too warm yet and the hours of daylight have increased. Everything blooms and feels softer and friendlier. At least, that’s how I see spring. This doesn’t entirely align with reality anymore. Still, I also love a cold but sunny, quiet day in winter. The cold makes me feel very alive.


Are you a morning or evening person, and what does your routine look like?

Absolutely a morning person! I always start with my meditation practice, then coffee, breakfast, and either sports or a walk. After, I’m at my best to start my workday at Bonboon.


What are your biggest dreams for the future, personally and professionally?

I would love to offer free vacations to families who cannot afford to go on vacation themselves. A moment to enjoy together as a family and be inspired by an uncommon environment can be so valuable! And if I could combine this with an animal shelter… that would be my dream come true!


Marketing VondelThe story behind Bonboon