Restaurant Magis is a gourmet restaurant located in the centre of the oldest town of Belgium, Tongeren. It is established in a beautiful historical building which dates from the thirteenth century and previously served as a wartime refuge, administration centre for knights and a doctor’s house. The building is divided into several sections: a gourmet restaurant with three dining rooms and a lovely outdoor terrace on the ground floor, a bistro restaurant (Bistro Bis) on the first floor, and a section where the owners live. The decorations and interior of the premises demonstrate the refined taste of the owners. Upon arrival guests are welcomed by an impressive work of art from Octave Landuyt, enclosed in a glass case. Several other artworks brighten up the restaurants and subtle lighting, the use of wood, dark colours, a fireplace and modern furniture create a warm and accessible atmosphere. This truly is a great example of an excellent restaurant interior, which bridges the gaps between the authentic, the modern and the accessible.
Chef Patron Dimitry Lysens and Lady of the House Aagje Moens are the owners of restaurant Magis (and Bistro Bis). Dimitry studied marketing and Aagje holds an economic degree, but the couple quickly realised gastronomy was their true passion. After several trainings and countless visits to some of the best restaurants in the world the couple decided to open their own restaurant in 2007. Magis means ‘more’ or ‘bigger’ in Latin and that’s exactly what Dimitry and Aagje achieved with their restaurant. Magis quickly received several recognitions and became a well-known culinary institution in Belgium. The owners even opened a second place together with their former Sous Chef Johan Haiverlain. When Dimitry and Aagje heard that Johan wanted to open a bistro, they gave him the chance to realise his dream just above Magis. Bistro Bis was born and offers a funkier “Bistronomie” alternative to Magis, where guests enjoy pure, no-nonsense dishes in a rock & roll setting.
The service at restaurant Magis is led by Lady of the House Aagje Moens and she welcomes guests in style and with natural elegance. The team at restaurant Magis is passionate about gastronomy and that is something guests taste in the dishes and experience in the service. Aagje is also responsible for the wine menu and offers many French wines, supplemented with Italian, Spanish and New World wines. She also tries to work with a lot of (subtle) natural wines and uses the pairing wines arrangements to get the guests acquainted with this type of wine.
Chef Patron Dimitry Lysens developed a remarkable cooking style where he uses modern preparation techniques to prepare dishes that are based on the Belgian kitchen, but complemented with forgotten vegetables (like Jerusalem artichoke and turnip) and unusual ingredients (like wattleseed and cardoons). His preparations have a traditional base with ingredients like oyster, coquille, roe or pear, but are uplifted through the use of these special ingredients. A good example is the preparation of Gillardeau oyster with snow from oyster juice, borage cress, sauce of algae, horseradish sauce, and toast of black bread and mango. Another starter is a preparation with Saint Jacques scallops, mussels, razor clams, spinach, puntarella, citron, coriander & coconut milk foam. A remarkable combination of ingredients which surprises with an amazing flavour cohesion.
Restaurant Magis is an impeccable restaurant in Belgium, combining a beautiful restaurant interior with great and inventive food, managed by passionate people.
Written by Sven & Adriaan