A COWLEY Road restaurant has been slammed for its 'poor' food hygiene just weeks after being hit by a fire caused by 'fatty cooking residue'.

L&J Bar Restaurant have been given a two-star rating by Oxford City Council health inspectors following a visit at the end of June.

But less than three weeks earlier the restaurant was evacuated after a blaze which left 'considerable damage' to the kitchen and extraction system.

Council inspectors agreed with the fire service's assessment that routine cleaning, replacing filters and inspecting the extraction system were needed to ensure safety.

The management team were given a list of improvements to make but the inspectors did have 'some' confidence in them to turn it around.

Inspectors said there was 'major non-compliance' with more effort needed to prevent a further fall in standards.

But they had no issues when it came to the building's structure, rating it 'Fair', putting it in the top 50 per cent in the country.

Firefighters had previously highlighted safety concerns over the extraction flu.

The fire itself is believed to have started a build-up of fatty cooking residue inside the extractor flu set alight.

Crews praised the restaurant manager on the night for taking 'prompt and decisive action' to get staff and customers out of the building quickly.

The bar and restaurant opened in May and was met with a number of positive reviews on its Facebook page.

It serves a number of different cuisines, as well as cocktails, and opens for two hours at lunchtime and then again in the evening until 10pm every day.

At the time of the fire incident commander Richard Allington said: "We recommend that restaurant owners inspect the condition of their extraction systems regularly looking for signs of unburnt products building up around the hood and inside the flu system.

"To ensure your business thrives it is essential that regular maintenance and inspection routines are established such as, routine cleaning, replacing filters and examining wear or damage to the seals that are designed to contain hot gases within the extract system.

An emergency planning team has been working with the management to mitigate loss of trade since the fire and Oxfordshire County Council's Fire Safety and Trading Standards team have also been called in to advise staff.

Management at L&J Bar Restaurant failed to respond to a request for comment.