One of Newtown Park’s sponsors is in the “possibly unique” position of having two of his businesses in the running for a top national award.

Mohammad Abbas opened Indian-style restaurant Bo’ness Spice last May, and 13 months later he opened Cilantro in Leith Walk.

Both are among four restaurants shortlisted for the Newcomer title in the Asian Restaurant Awards, which will be announced at a presentation dinner at the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa in Edinburgh on November 1.

Mohammad told the Edinburgh Evening News: “It’s a great and possibly unique honour to have my restaurants named as two of the best newcomers on Scotland’s Asian restaurants scene.

“Bo’ness Spice and Cilantro are small, but our teams believe in quality rather than size.

“Both have already proved very popular, but that has come as no surprise to us because our menu features only the finest Indian-Bangladeshi dishes, freshly made with authentic spices.”

During the Covid pandemic Bo’ness Spice, who sponsor the Newtown Park spectator enclosure along with Express Taxis, provided free meals to emergency service workers and ran a fund-raising event for Ukrainian refugees.

Before opening it, Mohammad was front of house manager at a multi award-winning restaurant in Midlothian.

Bo’ness Spice has only 14 seats and Cilantro has 20. Neither restaurant is licensed but diners can bring their own alcoholic drinks with a small corkage charge added.

Yawar Khan, chairman of the Asian Catering Federation which organises the awards, said  finalists “showcase some of the best dining establishments from across the nation.”