A HELENSBURGH restaurant manager has been named the best in the business at a national awards ceremony, while his Indian eatery also won the top prize.

Annaya’s, on West Princes Street, picked up a hat-trick of awards at the third annual SPICE Awards after also being highly recommended in the Scottish Curry Championship category.

The gala final was held in Glasgow last week and manager Rocky Aziz said he hasn’t been able to wipe the smile off his face since the results were announced, after he, and Annaya’s, beat off hot competition from hundreds of others across the country.

Rocky told the Advertiser: “It means a lot to us to once again be recognised on a national level.

"It's great for a small Indian restaurant from a small town like Helensburgh.

READ MORE: Annaya's team 'over the moon' at awards success

"The support we get from our customer base is incredible because they're the ones who actually go out and vote for us.

"It's all about the flavours we produce and our top class chefs who are just full of passion. Everything that goes out from the kitchen is just full of heart. We treat customers like family and that's why they leave in a happy mood.

"It gives us all a boost; the staff love it. Now we've got to up the game for next year."

Annaya's also tasted success at last year's SPICE Awards, while more prizes were picked up at the Scottish Curry Awards earlier this year.

The restaurant was highly recommended in this year's SPICE Awards following a live cook-off between chefs from 30 of Scotland’s top Asian restaurants.

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Rocky, who started helping out in his dad's restaurant at the age of six, says he was honoured to receive personal recognition.

The 56-year-old, who lives in Dumbarton, added: "There are a lot of entrepreneurs who deserve it.

"For all the years I've been in the restaurant business I was the oldest guy there. It's amazing to learn off people and it has been a pleasure, it brushes off.

"The last five years here in Helensburgh, every customer will not forget the good service and they will pass that on, it's like a chain reaction.

"For me it's unbelievable. I have to thank my wife and daughter and my friends for their support over the years.

"It's hard working six or seven days a week, missing family life, but getting this award makes it easier."

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