Fine dining with change from a tenner? Why not, says owner of new Northampton venue

The head chef of a new Northampton eatery has enjoyed solid five star reviews since opening a month ago - even though he charges little more than the average Wetherspoons.

Dad-of-one Justin Raugala said he fulfilled a lifelong dream when he opened the doors of his 40-seat Wellingborough Road restaurant at the end of September.

Justin Raugala has been enjoying rave reviews since opening a fine dining restaurant with dishes for under a tenner.

Justin Raugala has been enjoying rave reviews since opening a fine dining restaurant with dishes for under a tenner.

And the 31-year-old has been making a name for himself ever since, with customers taking to Facebook to show their approval of the chef's culinary creations.

The venue, called Hashtag Justin Chef, has already garnered 69 reviews - and an average score of 4.9 out of 5 on Facebook.

"Clean place, nice decor, friendly staff, good service," wrote customer Kevin Shum. "Give this guy a Michelin star."

But Justin, who trained in Italy and Spain, says he intends to keep his menu around the £10 mark - even if he does achieve his goal of gaining the prestigious AA Rosette award in a year's time.

Hashtag Justin Chef has just opened in Wellingborough Road.

Hashtag Justin Chef has just opened in Wellingborough Road.

The former head chef at the Lloyds Pharmacy head office is thrilled at how business is going so far.

"To be honest the feedback so far has been great," he said.

"I can honestly say I have had no complaints. If you look at the Facebook review, most people say 'wow'."

Hashtag Chef Justin opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner, from Monday to Saturday - with breakfasts priced even lower, at around the £5 mark.

Though the dishes are simply named, many are named simply after the main ingredient, some are cooked using advanced techniques, garnished with edible flowers and finished with flavoured smoke released at the table.

Though Justin says he does not stick to a particular style of cooking, most of the dishes are Mediterranean in origin.

"This menu is my heart on a plate, it's a bit of everything," he added.

"People eat here once and they want to come back again.

"When you read it, it looks simple, but when it comes out we want people to say 'wow'."

Justin, who has worked as a sous chef in a number of fine dining restaurants across the UK and also owns a catering company, started cooking at his family home in Lithuania when he was six years old.

"I guess I just like food," he added. "You know what they say - never trust a thin chef."