November 28, 2013

I’ve refrained from mentioning events at Kayal, not least because I’m a friend of owner Jaimon and it’s pretty hard to offer totally independent comment. One thing to clarify straight away though, because it seems there may have been confusion – the restaurant is open for business.

As probably most of you know, the Leicester branch made the rare distinction of mentions in the national press, reporting the singular misfortune of hosting a group of environmental health officers to dine, several of whom then went on to get sick.

The restaurant had received a full inspection – after a complaint – at the end of October and received a five star rating for cleanliness, as it has always done. Nevertheless they carried out a deep clean and reviewed procedures. When a couple of more complaints came in the restaurant shut while it worked with the council to get to the bottom of things. They disposed of all uncooked food, hired a specialist hygiene consultant and all staff were checked.

The culprit, according to council tests, were humble curry leaves – ground with coconut, ginger, mango and used in an (uncooked) chutney as an accompaniment.   They served this chutney for eight years but will not do so in future and all such accompaniments will now be cooked.

Jaimon says he has been touched by the understanding and support of Leicester people, including the customers who were ill.

I am happy to continue eating at Kayal, and indeed am reassured that health officers – who get to see a lot of sights in restaurant kitchens – should choose it for their own nights out.


4 Responses to “Kayal”

  1. Kevin said

    Well said, Tim. Like you, we’ve eaten there for years and have never found it less than excellent. Good to know they’re back in time for my traditional birthday outing.


  2. Pete said

    Interesting that it was curry leaves. That was the source of a major food poisoning outbreak at a street food festival in Newcastle earlier this year. The organisers there were also praised for overall excellent food hygiene. Public Health England said at the time of that report in June there was a lack of awareness of the potential problem of curry leaves and uncooked herbs generally, and recommended that the Food Standards Agency developed information to raise awareness nationally.

    Perhaps they never got round to it.



  3. […] Telegraph at the weekend by Matthew Norman. He went, it seems, out of a sense of sympathy after the events of last autumn and the infamous health inspectors’ night out. He was blown away by the food and urged people […]


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