A THAI restaurant in Dorchester, whose head chef has made dishes fit for a princess, has been recognised for its authenticity.

Staff at the Thai Nakorn in High West Street are celebrating after they received the Thai Select award.

Kittima Kidhen, who runs the restaurant with husband Wicha, said the accolade was ‘great’.

She said: “Authentic Thai food is what we try to create, so it is wonderful to be recognised for doing just that, and knowing that we are keeping that distinct taste and flavour.”

Thai Select is judged by representatives of the Thai Government, who visit the restaurants anonymously, and make awards to places which use traditional ingredients – lemon grass, galangal, coconut and tamarind – as well as the welcome and ambience.

Wicha, who is the head chef, said the food on the menu is cooked from old family recipes.

He was presented with the award by the Thai minister of commerce at a ceremony in London.

Kittima said: “Before we came to this country, he was selected to cook for our royal family, specifically the princess.

“That was very exciting, we still have the pictures.”

The family worked in a restaurant in the Midlands before moving to Dorchester three years ago to set up their own business.

Kittima said: “We were looking around for somewhere to start our own restaurant and we really like this town.

“It was a bit of an uphill struggle at first, but I think people really like the fact that we are a family business, and now we have a lot of regulars.

“It’s nice to serve people, and they have a real interest in our family.”

The family have not yet held a celebration of their achievement, but hope to organise something in the New Year.

Kittima said: “We would like to do something with the staff, because they are very good.

“I think the award will make us work even harder, and we are planning to have a special menu every month.

“Wicha has had the opportunity to meet other chefs at the awards ceremony, and this has given him inspiration to try out new dishes.”

She added: “I would like to say a thank-you to all our customers for their support over the years.”