HIGH Wycombe has some truly outstanding restaurants and takeaways, but it also harbours a few with hygiene issues.

Of the 1,162 places registered for food hygiene ratings in Wycombe district, more than half have five stars - the best possible.

Bucks Free Press:

And in terms of takeaways, there are only two left in town with a big fat zero.

They are: Dixee Chicken on Desborough Road and Blue Lagoon Jamaican on the same street.

But what are they like, and are they any good, despite what the hygiene ratings suggest?

We went to find out.

A reminder of what the numbers mean:

  • 0 means that urgent improvement is necessary.
  • 1 means that major improvements are necessary.
  • 2 means that improvements are necessary.
  • 3 means that the business was found to be generally satisfactory.
  • 4 means that the business was rated as good on assessment.
  • 5 means that the business was seen as very good.

All ratings and information correct as of April 30, 2019.

Bucks Free Press:


Bucks Free Press:

Dixee Chicken, Desborough Road – zero star rating received on October 12, 2018.

What the inspectors said:

  • Food Hygiene and Safety       Poor
  • Structural Compliance           Poor
  • Confidence in Management    No

Visiting on a fairly quiet weekday evening, it’s fair to say that Wycombe’s only zero rated chicken shop isn’t immediately inviting.

A large wheelie bin out front and a tired looking window display greet the diner, as did a flickering strip light on the shop front when we popped by.

Inside, it’s the same story. There are creaky-looking surfaces and tired decor - not the most sparkling interior you’re likely to see.

The counter, till, signs, ceiling and surfaces are all rough and ready at best, and at worst pretty ropey.

What caught the eye most alongside the few tables dotted about was the stained wall on which the word ‘Bin’ is scrawled in marker pen. Next to it, a big bin.

Bucks Free Press:

But this place is a chicken shop, not the Ritz, admittedly, and so attention switched to the bewildering array of menu boards.

As the name suggests, chicken is the thing here – though they also offer doner kebab, burgers and the like.

So it was chicken we ordered. Two pieces of fried chicken, chips, a can of Pepsi and (in the name of variety), a chicken fillet burger to boot.

Being one of only two takeaways in town to hold a zero rating, perhaps a selling point is needed – and it may well be the price. £5.90 for the lot, which seemed pretty reasonable.

Bucks Free Press:

These were consumed off the premises, for the sake of transparency.

The chicken wasn’t bad. Cooked through, coated all over in a golden batter and with a tad of seasoning.

Yes, there were greasy bits, but there often are with fried chicken. The batter had gone soggy in a few spots too, but we’ll put that down to the 5-minute drive to our eating destination and the fact the meat was buried under a mountain of fries.

Bucks Free Press:

The burger, however, was unpleasant. The meat was limp, the lettuce questionable, and the bread disintegrating.

What troubled us most was the sauce. Opting for chilli sauce on the fillet burger may not have been the best idea, as it emitted a smell and fizzy tang we’ve not encountered from a chilli sauce before.

Bucks Free Press:

Bucks Free Press:

Uncertain that this was the intended flavour sensation, the burger remained largely uneaten.

However the chicken was devoured, as were the chips, which weren’t bad at all – a little crunchy, cooked well and a decent portion.

Will we be back? Probably not, given there are chicken outlets in town with better food hygiene and they produce fried meat equally as good, if not much better. 

But, it could have been worse.

Bucks Free Press:

Blue Lagoon Jamaican, Desborough Road – zero star rating received on February 19, 2019

What the inspectors said:

  • Food Hygiene and Safety       Poor
  • Structural Compliance           Bad
  • Confidence in Management    Little

Bucks Free Press:

There are fewer Jamaican takeaways in town than chicken shops, that’s for sure.

And the menu at Blue Lagoon certainly looks inviting.

Oxtail and beef soup, fish tea, jerk chicken, curry goat and ackee and saltfish all tick the right boxes in terms of Carribean favourites.

Nestled in a small unit on Desborough Road, the takeaway looks bright and perky enough from the outside. Its colourful frontage makes abundantly clear that it takes its inspiration from the tropics.

Inside, it’s sparsely decorated in a bright azure blue, with tables lining either side and a serving counter with a fair amount of empty shelves. There’s also a picture of Usain Bolt.

Bucks Free Press:

What sits on the shelves looks appetising enough – big trays of chicken and veg look ready to eat. It’s not clear exactly how long they’ve been there, however.

It’s a bit rough around the edges here, and the blackboard serving as a menu looks as if it could do with a clean.  

We ordered jerk chicken, served with rice and peas. Partly because jerk chicken is delicious, and partly because the curry goat had just run out.

Bucks Free Press:

Bucks Free Press:

Service is friendly and prompt and there are definitely some good vibes here. It was quiet on the day we visited, but it would be nice to see the place when the tables are in use.

But what’s the food like? Not that bad, actually.

Again, the food was taken away and eaten elsewhere, and it became apparent when it was served (on a plate, how civilised) just how much there was.

The container was packed, with a massive portion of chicken (easily enough for two) and a mountain of rice. Pretty decent for £6 really.

Bucks Free Press:

The chicken was tasty. Tender enough and with a zingy jerk coating that gave the meat a pleasing, golden brown tinge.

They definitely know their flavours, and while it was a different dish to Dixee’s effort, the chicken was far superior.

The rice and peas was fine, but a little overdone. No one likes their rice too al dente, but this portion had gone over the other side a while ago.

Bucks Free Press:

When the rice remains in the shape of the container it was just tipped out of, you know it’s a little too mushy. This picture shows it after had been given a stir.

That said, the flavour was subtle but pleasant and a light chilli hum hung over the entire dish.

Bucks Free Press:

There was little waste – most of it was eaten and enjoyed. Would we return? Probably yes, but not until the hygiene rating improved.

The other zero stars in High Wycombe

Given these are not takeaways, we didn't review them. However, there are three more places in the Wycombe district that currently hold zero stars.

They are: 

UK Food Store, 147 Totteridge Road

General store

Inspected November 2, 2018

Fresh Fish Seafood, 5 Queen Victoria Road


Inspected October 17, 2018

Wooburn Working Mens Club, 16 The Green, Wooburn Green

Inspected January 16, 2018

*Just Eat has confirmed that all zero-rated restaurants have been suspended from the app and will not be restored until they improve their rating.