A POPULAR town centre Thai restaurant has kept up its perfect run of hygiene ratings.

Chaba Thai in Abingdon's High Street has earned anther five-star rating from Vale of White Horse District Council's inspectors, following a visit on November 8.

Mark Dowle, who runs the restaurant with his wife Natthascha Dowle, said his team has consistently gained the top hygiene rating since opening in March 2013.

He said: "The kitchen has got to be kept as clean as possible, which is something all the staff are award of, and everybody pitches in.

"It is cleaned on an ongoing, regular basis.

"We are all pleased [about the five stars], everyone takes personal pride in it."

The couple live above the restaurant, and their son is one of the waiters there.

Since opening, Chaba Thai has also expanded into a former frozen yoghurt shop downstairs.

Mr Dowle said the upstairs and downstairs seating areas both have different atmospheres, with the latter used as a noodle bar at lunch time and less formal restaurant in the evenings.

He added that many customers request which of the two restaurant areas they would like to dine in, when they ring up to book.

Last year the pair celebrated their previous rating with a bottle of champagne, but Mr Dowle said celebrations have been more 'frugal' this time.

He added: "We have been in Abingdon for five and a half years and we want to thank all our regular patrons."

The restaurant serves a range of dishes, from exotic curries to spicy soup, and boasts a 4.5 star rating from customers on the review website TripAdvisor.

Particularly celebrated is its all-you-can-eat banquet nights, and it also runs a takeaway service.

Mr Dowle said Thai food seemed to be becoming increasingly appealing to British diners, noting there was also another Thai restaurant in the town (Zabb Thai).

The restaurant owner likened Thai cuisine to the 'new Chinese' in terms of popularity.

He added: "It's really very popular, and both of our restaurants are doing well."

Chaba Thai was rated 'good' by food inspectors in all three categories of assessment - food hygiene and safety, structural compliance and confidence in management.

'Good' is the second-highest rating possible in each of those areas.

In the Vale of White Horse district, the frequency of inspectors' visits to food outlets is generally between six months and two years, according to the council.