AN AWARD-winning restaurant in the heart of Oxford has proved it is still on top form as it prepares for a new city centre rival.

The Quod Restaurant and Bar was given a five-star hygiene score from inspectors when they stopped by the Oxford City Council health team on August 20.

ALSO READ: Old Bank Hotel boss talks about new rival The Ivy

Jeremy Mogford, owner of the Old Bank Hotel which houses Quod, said: “Once again, we are absolutely delighted to score five stars for our Quod kitchen.

“It is a huge credit to our longstanding head chef, Rohan Kashid, and his team of 20, that they have achieved the highest standards of hygiene in the busiest restaurant kitchen in the city.”

He added: “Our extensive menu is prepared and cooked on the premises using the very best and, preferably, local ingredients.

Oxford Mail:

“Our policy is to continually invest in the best and most up to date equipment, along with always observing the rigorous standards set by Oxford City Council.”

The High Street restaurant's website emphasises its 'unrivalled location' with views of St Mary’s Church and the Radcliffe Camera as well as its 'broad menu of European classics with an emphasis on British produce'.

ALSO READ: Respected Oxford restaurant WILL close despite outcry

It adds a heated Italian garden terrace, provides a 'uniquely Mediterranean setting', where diners can 'enjoy a morning coffee, quick two course lunch or long celebratory suppers in the hidden heart of the city'.

The top hygiene rating for the popular restaurant, which, when the building was converted in 1999, was the first hotel to open in the centre for 135 years, comes as the finishing touches are being put on the new Oxford branch of The Ivy.

The London-based chain is converting the former NatWest bank in High Street into its latest location.

Oxford Mail:

The plastic covers have recently come off the building work and passers-by can see what the new restaurant is going to look like, including a new picture window.

No official date has been announced but The Ivy Oxford Brasserie is expected to open this winter.

Speaking to the paper in April, Mr Mogford, who also owns the Old Parsonage and Gee’s, said he thought there was enough business for both in the city and he was confident Quod would 'continue to flourish'.

ALSO READ: Ivy Oxford Brasserie looks nearly ready to open

He said: “It is an endorsement of the importance of the historic part of the city and reinforces the notion that the High is being increasingly regarded as the beating heart of Oxford, from the famous colleges, shopping and hospitality perspective.”