THE manager of an Asian restaurant and bar hit by hygiene problems has apologised to customers and vowed to restore their confidence.

The One Bar and Restaurant, in Botley Road, received a one-star score when environmental health officers visited in May.

Inspectors found rat droppings in an external store near crockery and take away food containers.

Manager David Chu apologised to customers and said the droppings were found in an external store room and near unused utensils.

He added that the restaurant had complied with a hygiene improvement notice relating to an inadequate supply of hot and cold water to the sinks - by a deadline of June 5.

He said: “I would like to apologise on behalf of myself and the staff at The One, to our customers for this unfortunate circumstance.

“We have taken the correct measures to rectify the problem, as we do take this matter seriously.”

Hygiene inspectors returned last month and were satisfied the hot water issue had been sorted, but cannot issue a re-score for several months.

But Mr Chu said the low rating and subsequent Oxford Mail article earlier this month had had a ‘huge impact’ on business.

He said: “We have suffered a great loss of business, many of our reservations had cancelled and did not show up.

“We hate to disappoint our customers, and have deeply disappointed ourselves, but we are confident that this situation would not happen again.”

He added: “It is a lesson learnt and we hope to restore the confidence of customers, as we continue to make the necessary improvements and we have indeed taken the necessary actions.”

He also said his family has been hurt by abuse and threatening comments, including racial abuse on the premises.

The manager also pointed out that there have been no cases of food poisoning and added that the rat droppings were found in the external store room next to ‘unused’ utensils, chairs and tables.

Improvements have been made and Mr Chu wanted Oxford Mail readers to know how seriously his staff had taken the issue and thanked those who remained loyal.

He said: “Once again, we do sincerely apologise to our customers and local communities where we have donated raffle prizes and hope this has not affected raising money for their cause/charity.

“I would also like to thank a number of our customers who continue to dine with us and has given their support at this time.

“We will be making arrangements to have another health and safety inspection, as we hope to restore their confidence and support.”

Oxford City Council inspectors initially branded surfaces and equipment in the restaurant ‘dirty’.

However, they only took issue with date labelling and temperature control on their revisit.