THE city's only Japanese deli has made it into the finals of one of the country's biggest food competitions.

Cherry and Heather, run by Iwan Sasaki and his wife Reiko, is one of the finalists in the 2008 BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards.

And in the process the business is wiping away the stereotypes of Glasgow only having an appetite for curry or chips when it comes to takeaway - the firm has been short-listed for the best takeaway award.

Reiko said: "This is such exciting news for us and our customers.

"I never would have dreamed two years ago that our humble deli would take us this far this quickly.

"Our business policy is that we never compromise quality or value for our customers.

"We believe that good food definitely makes people happy and we want to share a little happiness in our neighbourhood.

"We also believe our hard work is appreciated by customers and also they are proud of us.

"And that's what keeps us going.

"We are very grateful to the person who nominated us for these prestigious awards."

Iwan is no stranger to success.

Previously a chef at Firebird in the West End, he is a three-times finalist in Restaurant Magazine's UK Best Dishes Awards.

Iwan, who is originally from Indonesia, came to Scotland 10 years ago and has also worked in fashionable West End eatery Stravaigan.

The first time he was short-listed in the competition he was up against Jamie Oliver and Antonio Carluccio in Best Pasta category.

Last year, he was also short-listed in two categories - Best Pizza and Best Tapas.

He and Reiko, who is Japanese, launched Cherry and Heather on North Gower Street in Cessnock nearly two years ago.

Cherry and Heather is competing against two other businesses in for the BBC title. Adam's Fish and Chips in St Martin's, Isles of Scilly and Fal Falafel, in Falmouth Cornwall are also vying for the award.

The BBC 4 Food and Farming awards will take place on Wednesday November 26 in Birmingham.

This year's judges include Michelin star chef Angela Hartnett, food journalist and presenter of BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme Sheila Dillon and Gillian Carter of BBC Good Food Magazine.

Also on the panel is Margaret Rayman, a professor of nutritional medicine, at the University of Surrey.