Home   Kent   News   Article

27 restaurants in Kent whose food hygiene rating has gone up by three in the last 18 months

By Rebecca Tuffin

A bad hygiene rating is not the end for your favourite restaurant - as these establishments have proven.

Last month, KentOnline reported on the takeaways given zero or one ratings by inspectors.

Some of those have made some real improvements and managed to jump up the scale to a four or five rating.

Many restaurants have turned around poor hygiene ratings
Many restaurants have turned around poor hygiene ratings

Here are some of the restaurants who have improved by three stars in the last 18 months.

Canterbury

Marlowe's Restaurant

Among those to have bounced back with a higher rating is Marlowe's Restaurant.

A good spot to grab a quick bite to eat before a show at nearby Marlowe Theatre, the St Peter's Street restaurant got just two stars after an inspection by the agency in January last year.

But after its most recent visit from inspectors, they achieved a full five stars.

Marlowe's Restaurant. All pictures are from Google Street View.
Marlowe's Restaurant. All pictures are from Google Street View.

Its hygienic food handling, cleanliness and condition of facilities and building, and management of food safety were all "good".

Deal

Bowling Green Tavern

Also on the list is a traditional family pub which had just one star following an inspection in January 2018.

However, since new management have taken over, things have improved at the Church Path eatery.

In the tavern's latest inspection on February 27, it earned four stars.

Bowling Green Tavern
Bowling Green Tavern

Head chef, Tyrone Harewood, said: "We moved in in December, so it was the old owners who got the one rating.

"One of the main things that needed changing was the shed roof where the freezers are stored, which we did straight away.

"We now have a brand new kitchen and all new staff.

"It has been going really well since we opened."

Dover

Cullins Yard, Cambridge Road

In an old converted ship yard in Dover marina with a boat bar and a heated glasshouse, this restaurant had everything apart from a good hygiene rating.

Upon an inspection in October last year, it was given just one star.

Cullins Yard
Cullins Yard

Its food handling hygiene, cleanliness, conditions of facilities, and the building were found to be generally satisfactory but it was the management of food safety which let the business down.

Inspectors said: "Major improvement was necessary".

However, having anchored a four rating last month, it seems the restaurants food standards are now up to the mark.

Gravesham

Traditional Fish & Chips

On the corner of Pelham Road, this popular fish and chip shop previously had a two rating after an inspection in January last year.

However, the takeaway now stands with a full five stars since their latest visit from the agency in April 2018.

Traditional Fish and Chips
Traditional Fish and Chips

One of the managers, Rejer Rai, said: "On the first inspection the problem was the door to the potato room was broken so we got it fixed and now everything is all good.

"On the whole we have a very clean shop."

Maidstone

Park Gate Inn

The Park Gate Inn in Ashford Road, which was earlier given a zero rating, now has four stars.

It was slapped with a the lowest possible rating on August 28.

But it is now classified as four-star after another inspection in January.

The Park Gate Inn
The Park Gate Inn

General manager, Stuart Buzza, said: "I am very happy with the new rating and hopefully it means people will gain more confidence in us.

"We got a new head chef in October and I took over as manager in December and we have just tightened up on everything and really improved kitchen cleanliness.

"If we keep going the way we are, a refurbishment could be in the pipeline next year."

River Pizza And Kebab

This takeaway, in Hart Street, jumped up four points on the hygiene scale in just over a year.

In January last year, it was given a one, but in March got a top mark of five.

Cleanliness and condition of the facilities and building were said to be "good" and the hygienic food handling and management of food safety "very good".

River Kebab
River Kebab

Owner, Abraham Yaqubi, said: "I am very happy with this rating. When you are hard-working and you get the results, you are happy.

"It is definitely good for business, that is the reason people want these ratings."

Medway

Dixy Chicken

Last time KentOnline featured this fried chicken shop, it had just a single star but insisted this was because of an ownership change and the inspection was done under old management.

A spokesman for the takeaway, located in Canterbury Street, Gillingham, said: "We have applied for another inspection and hope to get that soon.

"It will be at least a four rating I guarantee you that."

Dixy Chicken
Dixy Chicken

And it seems the new owners were true to their word, as they bagged five stars in an inspection last month.

The Jerk Café

A Caribbean restaurant in Rochester High Street got just one star after an inspection in February last year.

But a few months later it was classified as a five, after a second inspection in June.

Hygienic food handling, cleanliness and condition of facilities and building, and management of food safety were all rated "good".

A food hygiene rating sticker
A food hygiene rating sticker

Marmaris Kebab and Fish

After working hard to bump their score up, the kebab shop in Canterbury Street, GIllingham, is "really happy" with its recent five-star achievement.

Before, it was were slapped with a one, following an inspection in January last year.

But a visit from the agency just two weeks ago proved hard work of staff has paid off.

Marmaris
Marmaris

A spokesman said: "We just did whatever the inspectors said we needed to do.

"In the last couple of weeks we have been really busy so maybe it has helped.

"We are happy because we work really hard."

Wimpy

The franchise in Chatham High Street was given a rating of two in January but staff claimed this was a printing error.

In February they got the highest possible score of five, described as "very good" for hygienic food handling and food safety.

A waitress at the restaurant, Connie Oakes, said: "It was a misprint, it should have been a five then."

Wimpy in Chatham High Street
Wimpy in Chatham High Street

Romney Marsh

The Star Inn

Located in Pickneybush Lane, St Mary in the Marsh, it was given a zero rating following an inspection of the 14th-century pub last September, but is now classified as five-star.

The Star Inn
The Star Inn

Inspectors have described its food handling, preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage, cleanliness and condition of facilities and building, and management of food safety as "very good".

Landlady, Terri Stone, said: "I can't believe we have gone from a have one to a five - it's fantastic.

"I didn't think we would ever get a five because the kitchen is so old - but it's clean.

"I feel it is very positive we had the inspection because they pointed out things we wouldn't normally think of like cleaning light switches and the ice machine.

"When the inspector came back a couple of weeks ago, she said we had gone above and beyond was was asked of us."

Thanet

Beano Cafe

This cafe, in Grange Road, Ramsgate, had an inspection in January last year and came out with a one, the second lowest rating possible.

However, they pulled it back just a few months later in June, gaining four stars for the business - named after a classic comic book.

Beano Cafe
Beano Cafe

The inspector said: "System or checks are in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat. There is evidence staff know about food safety, and we have confidence standards will be maintained in future."

Hygienic food handling was rated "very good", cleanliness and condition of the facilities and building "good" and management of food safety "generally satisfactory".

Chun Chun

Another restaurant which has turned things around is Chinese eatery, Chun Chun, in Margate Road, Ramsgate.

It moved up the scale from two to five last year.

Inspectors said hygienic food handling, cleanliness of the facilities and building, and management of food safety were all "very good".

Chun Chun
Chun Chun

Hartsdown Academy

Also on the road to recovery is Hartsdown Academy in Margate, which was earlier given a zero rating.

Staff were earlier told to make urgent improvement by the Food Standards Agency around the cleanliness and condition of its facilities and the building.

The school, in George V Avenue, Margate, now has four stars and its food hygiene rating is described as "good".

Hartsdown Academy
Hartsdown Academy

Inspectors say the hygienic handling of food including preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage is "very good".

They are also now satisfied with the cleanliness and condition of facilities and building (including having appropriate layout, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control) to enable good food hygiene.

They pointed out satisfactory systems and checks were in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat, there was evidence that staff know about food safety.

The Kentish Pantry

This bistro, in Duke Street, Margate, works hard to use locally sourced products from around the county, but got a low one rating after an inspection in January.

Staff claim this was only because they had just opened and lost track of some paperwork needed for a good rating.

A member of staff at the pantry, Jason Freedman, said: "We had an inspection the week we opened and there was a bit of paperwork missing, that was all, hence the reason we got our five stars as soon as it was in place."

It achieved a five-star rating in April last year.

The Kyoto Sushi & Grill

This restaurant has also gone from a zero to five.

It was previously ordered to raise its food handling standards and cleanliness and urgently improve the management of food safety, as KentOnline reported in November 2017.

But the Japanese restaurant, in Ramsgate High Street, has been commended for hygiene, cleanliness, and management of food safety following another inspection.

The Kyoto Sushi & Grill
The Kyoto Sushi & Grill

The agency said: "The food safety officer has confidence that standards will be maintained in future."

Pumpkin Café (SSP)

Part of the SSP group, Pumpkin Café was visited by inspectors in January last year and got just two stars.

But the chain, in Ramsgate Rail Station, has now been commended for its hygiene and food handling after their latest inspection in November.

Pumpin Café is inside Ramsgate Railway Station
Pumpin Café is inside Ramsgate Railway Station

It achieved a five-star rating, with the three main categories inspected by the food officer all being rated "very good".

The Saddler

New owners took over the pub, in Monkton Road, Minster, in March last year, and had the bad luck of an inspection as soon as they started.

But after carrying out a complete renovation of the property, they invited inspectors back just seven weeks later and got a five-star rating.

Landlady, Dee Horton, said: "We ripped out the whole kitchen and now it's all stainless steal with brand new equipment.

The Saddler
The Saddler

"We are really happy with our five-star rating."

Texas Pizza

Texas Pizza, in Northdown Road, Margate, was given a one rating in August and inspectors found major improvement necessary.

But following an inspection in March, it now has four stars, demonstrating staff took advice on board.

Both its hygienic food handling and cleanliness were rated as "very good" and their food safety management "generally satisfactory".

Texas Pizza
Texas Pizza

Turkvaz

Serving "freshly prepared authentic Turkish cuisine", this restaurant says its rating of two in January last year was nothing to do with food hygiene.

Sarah Brice, manager of the facility in Station Road, Birchington, said: "The main problem was we weren't filling in the book they gave us and we needed another wash basin.

"I don't think the low rating affected us that much because people came to look for themselves."

Turkvas
Turkvas

After filling in the book correctly and fitting a new sink as requested, the restaurant arranged another inspection in January.

This time, they came out with a full five stars.

Tonbridge and Malling

Bus Stop Cafe

The Bus Stop Cafe hopped from two to five last year, in the space of seven months.

Bus Stop Cafe
Bus Stop Cafe

After its latest inspection, the officer said: "Cleanliness and condition of the facilities and building enable good food hygiene."

Both the food handling and cleanliness of the facilities were "very good" and the management of food safety at the cafe, in Chapman Way, East Malling, were rated "good".

The Vineyard

This French style restaurant was given just a one rating in February last year.

But inspectors have now awarded the eatery, which specialises in seafood, a four after a visit a year later.

Commenting on the food safety, the inspector said: "Systems or checks are in place to ensure food sold or served is safe to eat, there is evidence staff know about food safety, and we have confidence standards will be maintained in future."

The Vineyard
The Vineyard

Tony Nart, owner of the restaurant, in London Road, Wrotham Heath, said: "We now have a new system and do regular checks on food and cleaning, labelling everything.

"For a restaurant like us it is hard to get a four-star because firstly, we are in an old building and secondly, we have a big menu so it is quite hard to keep everything in order."

Tunbridge Wells

Babycino Café

A newly established, independent café in Chapel Place, it was given a two-star rating in January but staff say this was purely based on the fact it needed an additional sink.

Promptly after the inspection, staff invited the Food Standards Agency back and were awarded the full five stars.

A spokesman from the café said: "All we had to do was put in another sink, it was nothing to do with the food.

"We put one in the day after the inspection and they came back the following week."

Hop House

This branch of Greene King in Knights Way was slapped with a low rating of two in January, but awarded a five just a month later, with "very good" food hygiene standards.

General manager, Jack Warren, said: “Being awarded a five-star rating demonstrates how hard our team works every day behind the scenes to ensure we prepare our food to the highest quality.

"Having a top rating gives our guests peace of mind when dining with us.”

Hop House
Hop House

Gastronomia

This Italian restaurant was given a one rating in January last year, suggesting substantial improvement was needed.

But a year later management asked for another inspection and were pleased to get a four-star certificate.

Gastronomia
Gastronomia

Hygienic food handling and cleanliness and condition of the facilities and building were rated as "good" and management of food safety "generally satisfactory".

Carlos Taveira, manager of the restaurant in The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells, said: "The main thing was some kitchen worktops were wooden which was classed as unhygienic but we have now replaced them with stainless steel."

Gusta

Back in November, this Mediterranean café in Camden Road was found to be generally satisfactory.

At the time, a spokesman for Gusta said: "It was not about the food hygiene, it was about the property and we have made improvements and asked for another inspection."

And this seems to be have been the case. After fixing an outside leak causing damp in some of the downstairs area, it is now sporting four stars, after an inspection last month.

Gusta
Gusta

Director, Mirco Cafiero, said: "Luckily having a one rating did not effect our business that much because our customers are very loyal and know us and we explained it was not a problem with the food.

"People do not realise that a bad rating might not be to do with the food."

Kai's Kitchen

This restaurant, which serves traditional Thai cuisine, was bumped up from one to four in May.

Last year, the business, on Mount Pleasant Road, was told its hygienic food handling and food safety needed major improvement.

Kai's Kitchen
Kai's Kitchen

However, a spokesman said the inspection was unfair as they had only just opened and things were not in place.

But now everything is where it should be, giving them it four stars.

Supervisor, Massi Ariyamaitri, said: "Because we had just moved in, all the stuff wasn't in the right place.

"For example, the fridge was in the way of the sink, making it hard to get to.

"But we have now moved it all around, it was not about hygiene."

The updated ratings in this article are from Thursday, April 18 and so any changes since this date have not been included.

For the latest business news in the county, click here.

Read more: All the latest Kent news

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Follow us

Most popular

Kent Travel News

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More