RENOWNED curry house owner Aziz Rahman is bringing his award-winning Indian cuisine to a hotel in Iffley.

Three years ago Mr Rahman switched Aziz Restaurant from its long-term home in Cowley Road to The Chequers Inn in Headington.

While that business is continuing, Mr Rahman is launching a new venture at The Tree Hotel in Iffley.

Following an agreement with Raj Pal, who has been running the nine-bedroom hotel in Church Way, Mr Rahman is to invest in a refurbishment and turn the venue into a curry destination.

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Mr Rahman - known to his friends as Aziz - said: “I have been running curry restaurants at different venues around Oxford for the past 40 years.

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“I think with this new venture we could really bring back the glory days of the Cowley Road, when lots of celebrities came to dine with us including the band Radiohead.”

The 59-year-old father-of-five said he hoped to create a restaurant which gained a reputation ‘locally, nationally and internationally’.

He added: “The Tree Hotel is a 90-seat restaurant but in recent years it has been used mainly for parties and functions.

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“We want to be serving the best curries in Oxfordshire seven days a week.”

Mr Rahman said he wanted to invest £100,000 in an extensive refurbishment to modernise the property.

He added: “It’s a nine-bedroom hotel but I think the focus will be the restaurant.

“I was abroad for two years setting up a hospitality school in Bangladesh and when I came back people kept saying to me they wanted to bring back the old days when the Aziz was on Cowley Road.

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“We want to bring back that atmosphere at The Tree Hotel and I’m confident we can do that.

“I’m really excited about it - we will make it a destination for curry and old acquaintances and friends are already asking me about it.”

Mr Aziz said there would be ‘old classics’ on the menu but there would also be new dishes and a ‘creative, innovative menu featuring curries served in the Aziz ambience’.

The restaurateur said the dishes would feature ‘high-quality food at acceptable prices'.

“We want customers to keep coming back,” he added.

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Mr Rahman said he would invest more than £100,000 to modernise the premises as it was a Victorian building and needed updating.

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He added: “We are aiming to be open towards the end of October. We have been leaders for many years when it comes to Indian cuisine and I’m sure that will be the case when we open at The Tree Hotel.”

Raj Pal, who has been running the hotel, said he was delighted with the new arrangement.

He said: “I have every faith in Aziz - he is very talented and deserves to be dominating the Asian food market in Oxford. "I think The Tree Hotel will be a perfect location for him to do that.

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“Aziz has a lot of skill and I hold him in very high esteem.”

Mr Pal said bedrooms at the hotel were being upgraded.