Norwich fine dining restaurant given lowly one-star hygiene rating

Roger Hickman's restaurant in Norwich. Pic: Archant

Roger Hickman's restaurant in Norwich. Pic: Archant - Credit: Archant

The boss of a fine dining restaurant has sought to reassure customers following a one-star food hygiene rating in which cobwebs and dead insects were found in the main kitchen. 

Roger Hickman’s restaurant in Upper St Giles Street has been given the second-lowest hygiene rating out of six following a November food premises inspection by Norwich City Council. 

The restaurant, which features in the Michelin guide, could face formal action if the standard of cleaning is not improved, the report states.  

But Roger Hickman, chef-proprietor, said he was “disappointed” with the inspector’s rating which came just weeks before the restaurant was due to close for a £70,000 refurbishment.  

EDP Norfolk Chef of the Year 2015. Roger Hickman.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Roger Hickman - Credit: Anthony Kelly

The restaurant will be closed from January 1 until January 19 for the instalment of a new kitchen. 

Mr Hickman said: “This refurbishment is an indication of how seriously we take food safety.  

“It does seem a little unfair to carry out an inspection and make such a judgement just five weeks before the entire kitchen is due to be replaced. 

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"Clearly what will be in place when we reopen in January will bear no relation to what the inspector saw in November.  

“It is important to note that the report was complimentary about food handling itself.  

“We will be seeking an early re-inspection once the kitchen refurbishment is complete, and are confident that we will regain our former high rating.”  

The inspector, who visited the premises on November 17, noted that cobwebs with dead insects were found near food containers and a large build-up of grease, fat and food debris around the rings to the gas hobs. 

The report stated: “The structure facilities and standard of cleaning and maintenance are less than satisfactory and you are failing to comply with the law in many respects.  

“Significant improvements are needed in the standard of structure and equipment cleaning and/or maintenance of the premises.

"Improvements are needed in hand and/or equipment washing facilities."

Other issues reported during the visit includes a “major non-compliance with legal requirements”. 

It continues: “Your food safety management system was not written down.  

“The contraventions require your urgent attention. A revisit is planned and formal enforcement action is likely.” 

Roger Hickman's restaurant is currently one of just nine establishments in Norwich which have a one-star food hygiene rating.