A restaurant praised by Giles Coren was closed down after a customer found a cockroach in their meal, local officials have confirmed.
Sojo on Hythe Bridge Street, Oxford, was investigated by the city council’s Environment Health unit after a customer complained after finding the pest on their plate.
The council reports that inspectors “found a heavy infestation of cockroaches including live insects running around in the kitchen and evidence of cockroaches discovered in a container of food that was ready to be served”.
There was also evidence of “rat droppings and urine” in the kitchen along with thick accumulations of grease and dirt.
The restaurant was closed down immediately upon inspection on 21 August but was allowed to reopen a week later on 28 August.
In 2009, Giles Coren wrote in The Times that Sojo had provided him “the best Chinese meal I have eaten in years and years, better than anything I’ve ever found in London”.
Alex Hollingsworth, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regulatory Services said: “Where public safety is at risk we take the necessary enforcement action to put controls in place.
“In this case it was clearly necessary to close the business to protect customers.”
The Caterer has reached out to Sojo for comment.