THE Scots palate has become ever-more refined with its growing choice of Michelin-starred restaurants and fine-dining chefs.

But the country has shown it still has a taste for a good curry, with an Indian restaurant in Edinburgh becoming the first to take the top eatery title in Scotland.

Mithas, in Dock Place, Leith, won best restaurant in the Catering in Scotland Excellence (CIS) Awards and beat 63 Tay Street in Perth - where last year's CIS Chef of the Year Graeme Pallister is Chef-Patron - Craig Millar's 16 West End at St Monans in Fife, and the Horseshoe at Eddleston near Peebles.

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Neil Thomson, chairman of the awards judges, said: "The quality and innovation shown by many Indian restaurant chefs have taken the sector to new levels."

The CIS Excellence Awards, claimed to be the main competition combining Scotland's catering, hospitality and tourism industries, were presented at a gala dinner and ceremony at the Glasgow Hilton hotel yesterday.