Restaurant 1238 in Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp undergoes transformation and is resurrected as Henry’s Bistro: “Combination of accessible and refined” (Antwerp)

Restaurant 1238 in Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp undergoes transformation and is resurrected as Henry’s Bistro: “Combination of accessible and refined” (Antwerp)
Restaurant 1238 in Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp undergoes transformation and is resurrected as Henry’s Bistro: “Combination of accessible and refined” (Antwerp)
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Restaurant 1238 was one of the top restaurants on the site of the Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp hotel, next to Bar Bulot and star restaurants Hertog Jan, Fine Fleur and Het Gebaar. The cooking was at a high level, the restaurant had a rating of 14.5 out of 20 in Gault&Millau. The kitchen has been in the hands of chef Pascal Duvivier since the end of 2022, but he is now taking on a new challenge. So there is a new wind under the name Henry’s Bistro.

“From now on we will work under the leadership of chef Johan Aarts. He serves culinary creations that excel in lightness and timeless elegance. Worldly influences and a cosmopolitan flair are central,” says marketing director Sandrine Versavel.

The bistro is located in the heart of Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp, next to Henry’s Bar. “The idea is for the inside and outside to flow into each other. The spacious terrace, overlooking the monastery garden, is open from 10 am to 10 pm in good weather. Lunch is available from 12 noon to 3 p.m., dinner from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Henry’s Bistro will be open seven days a week, year-round,” Versavel said.

The latter is an important element. “We had SMAAK by Jacob Jan Boerma in our hotel until the end of February and that pop-up was also open on Sundays and Mondays. That was a success, our guests really appreciated that they could also eat on the hotel site on those days. That has strengthened us in this decision.”

“Henry's Bistro embodies a new approach, which I call easy fine dining,” says chef Johan Aarts.

“Henry’s Bistro embodies a new approach, which I call easy fine dining,” says chef Johan Aarts. — © Jan Van der Perre

Fixed value

Dutch chef Johan Aarts is already a permanent fixture at Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp. He had been involved in the hotel project from day one as responsible chef for breakfast. At Henry’s Bistro he combines classic dishes, enriched with international flavors.

“Henry’s Bistro embodies a new approach, which I easy fine dining name,” says the chef. “This means that we want to go for a combination of accessible and refined. We want to bring quality, creativity and hospitality together. Every dish must tell a story.”

The main courses on the menu include asparagus à la flamande (42 euros), steak tartare (39 euros), turbot (69 euros) or tournedos (49 euros). In addition to those à la carte dishes, you can also have lunch there for 45 euros (2 courses) or 55 euros (3 courses).

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© Jan Van der Perre

© Jan Van der Perre

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