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Restaurant 1238 in the Antwerp Botanical Reserve is undergoing a transformation and being revived as Henry's Bistro: “a combination of the accessible and the upscale”

Restaurant 1238 in the Antwerp Botanical Reserve is undergoing a transformation and being revived as Henry's Bistro: “a combination of the accessible and the upscale”

One of the restaurants at the Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp has undergone a transformation. Restaurant 1238 has been transformed into Henry's Bistro, which will be open seven days a week.

Restaurant 1238 was one of the best restaurants on site at the Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp, next to Bar Bulot and star restaurants Hertog Jan, Fine Fleur and Het Gebaar. The cooking was at a high level, the restaurant received a rating of 14.5 out of 20 in Gault & Millau, and the kitchen has been in the hands of Chef Pascal Duvivier since the end of 2022, but now it faces a new challenge. So there's a new wind under the name Henry's Bistro.

“From now on we will work under the leadership of Chef Johan Aarts. He presents culinary creations that excel in lightness and timeless elegance. Global influences and global flair are essential,” says Sandrine Versaville, Marketing Director.

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

The latter is an important element. “We had SMAAK by Jacob Jan Burma at our hotel until the end of February and that pop-up was also open on Sundays and Mondays. That was a success, and our guests really appreciated that they could also eat at the hotel location on those days. This is what gave us a boost.” In this decision.”

“Henry's Bistro embodies a new approach, what I call easy fine dining,” says Chef Johan Aarts. Photo: Jan van der Pere

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Fixed value

Dutch chef Johan Aarts is already a fixture at Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp. He has been involved in the hotel project since day one as the head chef in charge of breakfast. Henry's Bistro combines classic dishes rich with international flavours.

“Henry's Bistro embodies a new approach, which is what I'm proposing Easy good food The name,” says the chef. “It means we want to choose a combination that is accessible and refined. We want to bring quality, creativity and hospitality together. Every dish should tell a story.”

Main dishes on the menu include asparagus flammande (€42), steak tartare (€39), turbot (€69) or tornado (€49). In addition to à la carte dishes, you can also have lunch there for €45 (2 courses) or €55 (3 courses).

Photo: Jan van der Pere
Photo: Jan van der Pere