A man who took over a popular Cardiff restaurant said he was shocked to find out why people weren’t coming to his restaurant.
Roqibul Rahman, 36, took over Indian restaurant Himalaya, on Welifled Road in Cardiff, in April 2019.
He bought the restaurant for £21,000 and has spent another £30,000 with his partner on renovation.
But Roqibul was shocked to receive a letter at the restaurant which was a court date against former owner Samsul Islam.
The premises was inspected by environmental health officers on multiple occasions, before Roqibul took over, in November 2018.
Officers found mouse droppings in the kitchen area where food was stored and prepared, a build-up of grease and dirt and piles of rubbish in the backyard.
The officer established that there was a “real risk of contamination of food to satisfy the health risk condition”.
Islam voluntary closed the restaurant and was given advice on the work that needed to be carried out. The restaurant was handed a damning food hygiene rating of one – meaning “major improvement necessary”.
Officers returned and then found more “widespread mouse droppings throughout the food storage and preparation areas”.
Islam was later hauled before the courts before hit with a four figure fine by magistrates.
However, Roqibul, who has run an Indian restaurant in Llantwit Major, since 2001, said the previous owner didn’t make him aware of any of the issues.
He said: “When I took over the restaurant it was doing well, it was a popular restaurant in Cardiff. After a few months work died down and I wasn’t sure why.
“I came across the court letter and was shocked because the previous owner didn’t tell me about anything. I have tried to contact them a number of times but haven’t heard anything back.
“Someone showed me the full story online and I was shocked. Now no one will come to my restaurant because they think I was responsible for the mice droppings, but I wasn’t.
“This isn’t fair I’m being punished for something I had nothing to do with. It’s really annoying as well because I’ve always run a tight ship.”
Roqibul said the restaurant has recently been re-inspected and he said he believes it will be given a four star rating.
Cardiff council said the result of the inspection would be revealed in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, the father-of-two plans to keep working hard and trying to spread the word that Himalaya is open for business and taking hygiene very seriously.
He has been bolstered by a number of positive reviews on TripAdvisor in recent weeks but said it has been a very difficult time for him and his family.
“I haven’t taken any wages home for the last few months. I don’t know what to do because my family are dependant on me,” he added.
“If things don’t improve then I will consider closing because it’s sad. I can’t go on like this anymore.
“I just want people to give me a chance.”