A popular Romsey restaurant has been ranked among the best in the country by an expert judging panel.

Suan Thai in Tee Court was shortlisted for the Thai Restaurant of The Year category in the Asian Curry Awards 2022, placing it among the top 100 nationwide.

Guy Blackburn, who owns the eatery alongside his wife, Chotiga, entered the competition after missing the deadline for the Good Food Awards - an accolade they won last year.

"I know our curries our fantastic, and I came across the Asian Curry Awards and managed to get an application in at the last minute," he said.

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Mr Blackburn welcomed one of the judges for dinner at the start of the month, who told him he had visited just before the couple bought the restaurant some four years ago and wasn't impressed.

However, a testament to its turnaround, Mr Blackburn said he left a glowing review and vowed to return.

"That's an absolute gem in itself," he added. "Having customers say the food is fantastic and they want to return is worth more to us than any award, to be honest."

Mr Blackburn couldn't make the glitzy awards ceremony in London on Sunday, November 20 and doesn't yet know if he's landed a prize.

However, he said another nomination after a year of success is proof enough that the restaurant is still going from "strength to strength".

He said: "Just to be shortlisted is an achievement in itself. We've been put within the top 100 in the country.

"It's all thanks to my wife, she's very dedicated and doesn't let the food come out of the kitchen unless it's absolutely perfect, or as close as it can be."

The husband-and-wife team say they have "fallen in love" with Romsey since moving from London four years ago and are now looking to continue their upwards trajectory, despite the challenging financial climate.

"Every restaurant is suffering at the minute with rising costs and we've had the same issues, especially with the electricity bills," Mr Blackburn said. 

"But we're still here facing the adversity head-on and trying to deal with it."