A restaurant in Oxford has been transformed as it reopens after more than a month of major refurbishments.

Heat in Cowley Road has been a staple of the city’s food scene for four years but temporarily closed on Monday, February 12.

The restaurant has had builders in for weeks and has undergone a monumental transformation.

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Co-owner Mohammed Bello wanted to give the eatery a refresh and bring a more present feel to the place with the renovation.

thisisoxfordshire: The team at Heat following the refurbishment.The team at Heat following the refurbishment. (Image: Newsquest)

“We opened in lockdown originally so the business has gone through ups and downs and we felt it was time to update,” he said.

“So we decided to a whole refurbishment and remodel the business a little bit.

“A lot has changed inside and the whole place looks more contemporary I would say but still with the afro vibes.

“We have put more tables and chairs in and it now has that true restaurant vibe.

“It is now a contemporary African restaurant.”

thisisoxfordshire: Heat's new interior featuring more tables and chairs.Heat's new interior featuring more tables and chairs. (Image: Newsquest)

The restaurant officially reopened on Friday, March 29 and the 40-year-old is delighted with how the refurbishment has gone.

“I am very happy with how it turned out so much so that a friend said I should be an interior designer, I said I wish,” joked Mr Bello.

“The first weekend went well as we had a lot of bookings already

Mohammed, originally from Cameroon, is aiming to bring a traditional taste of home to Oxford residents.

“We eat a lot of grilled food and seafood in Africa so the food we serve is infused with African spices and sauces," he said.

thisisoxfordshire: Mohammed is happy with how the refurbishments have gone.Mohammed is happy with how the refurbishments have gone. (Image: Newsquest)

“There is nowhere else in Oxford like this as we bring in specific flavours to our food which makes me proud as it is completely unique.

“I am staying close to my roots by bringing the Cameroon grill fish dish to Oxford as I can say Cameroon does the best grill fish in the whole of Africa.

“We are still doing traditional African dishes alongside these so there is something for everyone.”

The restaurant co-owner has lived in Oxford for close to 20 years and wants to bring the late-night style diner to the city.

thisisoxfordshire: The menu boasts a wide range of African dishes.The menu boasts a wide range of African dishes. (Image: Newsquest)

“Oxford is home to me as I have had children here and, to me, it is similar to the town I grew up in,” said Mr Bello.

“My parents live in Germany and sometimes when I visit them I arrive at 11pm so I am looking for a place for food and a drink but also good music.

“Not somewhere packed out like a club but rather somewhere I can get a table with no loud banging music from the speakers.

thisisoxfordshire: The eatery is unrecognisable during refurbishment The eatery is unrecognisable during refurbishment (Image: Newsquest)“That is what Heat will be like from now on.”