Revealed: The 4 Indian restaurants ranked among Auckland’s ‘filthiest’
In a development that rattled Indian foodies of Auckland, four Indian restaurants were among the 43 eating establishments rated as the worst food outlets, under the D-grade category, across Auckland by the Auckland Council.
These restaurants include Idly Sambar in Kingsland, Bawarchi in Sandringham, Love Punjab in Manurewa, and Bombay Chinese Indian Restaurant on Queen St. Of these, two restaurants that the Indian Weekender spoke to asserted that their grades were expeditiously restored to an 'A' within days of the 2023 inspection, expressing concern that their continued inclusion on the list is adversely affecting their business.
The Auckland Council clarified that they did not make this list public (comprised of D-grade food establishments identified between September 2023 and January 2024 ) and that it was provided to media portals following a specific query.
Speaking to the Indian Weekender, Osman, sous chef of Bawarchi restaurant, explained that issues such as cleanliness under the oven and the organisation of food items were lacking during the December 12 inspection.
However, their grade was reinstated to an 'A' within a week.
A screenshot of a post on Facebook by Idly Sambhar after the report.
“Our restaurant is a clean place, and we maintain high hygiene standards. On the day of the inspection, some things were not in order, but we fixed the faults within hours and called for a re-inspection. Finally, the team came a week later and found everything to be in order and restored our grade to an A,” he said.
He added that since the day this news was made public, he has been receiving calls from his regular clients, who have a lot of complaints. “This has hit our business very hard. But one has to understand that those were minor mistakes that were rectified immediately, and the grade A was restored. We work very hard in managing the brand. We are now showing each customer our certificate so that we can regain their faith,” he added.
Satya, the owner of Idly Sambar in Kingsland, shared a similar narrative, denoting the list as “misleading”.
“My restaurant is an A-grade place with all safety measures in place. The inspection took place last year when the council took note of some broomsticks lying around, and I was unable to present some documents in hard copy, while all documents were in place and submitted online. When I submitted all documents physically, my grade was restored within four days. Wonder why my restaurant is still on that list,” he said.
The Indian Weekender contacted Love Punjab in Manurewa and Bombay Chinese Indian Restaurant for their comments. While the owner of Love Punjab was not reachable, the owner of Bombay Chinese refused to comment.
Out of the 43 establishments with issues ranging from cockroach infestations to unhygienic kitchens and pest problems, 41 received D-grades, signaling deficiencies in various operational areas.
Additionally, two eateries faced temporary closure due to E-grades, indicative of severe risks. These ratings reflect a spectrum of deficiencies, encompassing inadequate cleaning protocols, substandard food safety practices, poor hygiene maintenance, improper temperature controls, neglect in equipment and facility upkeep, and pest-related issues.
A food grade certificate, according to the council, assures consumers of the safety and suitability of offered food, ensuring compliance with quality and hygiene standards mandated by the Food Act. Grades A, B, or C instill confidence in the safety of the food provided, while establishments receiving D and E grades prompt enforcement actions, signifying critical issues requiring urgent rectification. E ratings, particularly, are reserved for instances of severe risk, highlighting the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for remedial measures.
This story has been updated to incorporate Auckland Council’s response.