THE owner of a family-run sushi restaurant is delighted after his business was awarded a higher rating for its hygiene.

As previously reported in the Gazette, Yamazaki Sushi Bar, in Feathers Lane, at the Top of the Town, was given a one out of five for its hygiene following an inspection in February this year from officers at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s environmental health team.

It has now been upgraded to four stars.

Navesh Ghale said the low rating had resulted in a negative impact on business, saying: “We were very disappointed with the initial inspection which took place in February, when we hadn’t been open long.

"It was down to food management and not checking the temperature, that was the reason.

"We have to check the sushi rice with a device and we didn’t have a device.”

Navesh, runs the restaurant with his wife Kalbana, who worked as a sushi chef at a Japanese restaurant in Hong Kong, said they managed to rectify all the issues highlighted in the previous report in a week, but had to wait three months for a re-inspection.

“We had a re-visit and we got good feedback,” he explained, adding: “I have to say it hit our business quite a lot. Health and safety is our first priority.”

Now, he hopes to move forward from the set-back, and is confident that another hygiene inspection would result in a five-star rating.

“The food hygiene officer said we can’t jump from one to five star straight away even though we are ticking every box. We have to wait another three months to get the five stars.

"We are confident that we can do this.”

Navesh thanked the restaurant’s loyal customers who have continued to support them through the difficult time, saying: “Our customers they have kept coming and they know that we are doing good and they know our food is fresh and made to order.

"We have a lot of regular customers and they understand.

"The business was down but we got back on track, and this rating is the icing on the cake.

“As a family-run independent business in the town our customers leave lovely TripAdvisor comments which is really nice.”

He added: “We are proud to offer a warm and personal service to all our customers.”

To thank them for their custom, he is offering a 10 per cent discount off the total bill to anyone who pays a visit to the restaurant in July and quotes the Gazette article.