THE 'Best of' the best curry houses in West Fife were honoured this week as Press readers' favourites were presented with their trophies.

We launched our inaugural 'Best of' competition over the summer and asked readers to nominate the best place for a curry in West Fife via our Facebook page and emails.

A total of 21 finalists were shortlisted, with readers then invited to vote via coupons in the paper.

Rosyth-based Panas was the winner, with Indian street food specialists Dhoom, on Dunfermline's New Row, highly commended.

Press editor Simon Harris presented both business with their awards on Friday and said: "We're lucky to have a number of fantastic restaurants right here on our doorstep in Dunfermline and West Fife and, clearly, our winners are among the best of the best.

"It was clear just how popular these places are with our readers and we'd like to thank both the readers, and all the restaurants shortlisted, for supporting the competition and serving up such exceptional food in West Fife."

Winners Panas, on Queensferry Road, opened just before the first lockdown, taking over the old premises of Cleo’s Bar, which closed unexpectedly in the summer of 2019.

It's a fusion of Indian, Nepalese, Thai and Chinese cuisine and owner Ram Bagale said: "We are pleased to get the award. Our customers love our food and love our curries. We let them know the Press was running this competition and we ran a successful campaign. They have been congratulating us and we are seeing more customers now who are telling me they have seen us in the Dunfermline Press.

"I would like to thank them for their support; it's because of them that we are running a business. It's a two-way service. We opened in February 2020, just before the first lockdown. We provided free food for the NHS and care homes and then customers noticed our business."

There was also huge support for Dunfermline's Dhoom, and owner Dhaneshwar Prasad said: "A big thank you to all of our guests who have voted for us. They have given support to us when lockdown happened – even when we were closed they would come for a takeaway to help support us.

"It is because of my guests that we are still surviving. If my regulars hadn't given that support, I wouldn't be here – I always appreciate that support, all the way from day one.

"It's been a big achievement for us to establish a restaurant that is pure Indian food from the streets of India; it isn't British-style curries. It was a big, big change for me to open this place, especially in Dunfermline where people don't necessarily know much about Indian curries.

"It was hard for people at first when they would ask for dishes like chicken tikka masala but when they saw the simplicity of the cuisine, they loved it. We hardly use butter, cream or nuts – most dishes are dairy- and gluten-free.

"Guests come here for the experience – we have done seven menus so far and we change the menu regularly, focusing on food from different areas of India. We are the only place in the UK taking people on a journey across India step by step.

"People love the idea and they love the whole package – service, value for money and the quality of the food."