SPAIN has been given a grilling in the latest Michelin guide.

The French food bible reckons the country has hardly improved at all over the last year.

As well as failing to issue any new three-star ratings, it has actually taken stars away from eight restaurants, including Mesana in Marbella.

Despite Spanish cuisine being widely credited as greatly improving recently, only 134 out of the 2,090 restaurants in the 2008 guide attain a star rating.

Both Germany and Italy have three times the number, while Switzerland – hardly known for its cooking prowess – gets 101.

Tokyo alone gets more with 191 stars.

While it maintains its three-star ratings for the World-beating restaurants of El Bulli and Arzak, it only gives a net growth of five stars around the country.

Only one restaurant, Abac in Barcelona, went up to two stars, while those achieving one-star include Calima, in Marbella.

It is the second time chef Dani Garcia has won a star, having been awarded the honour after two years of working for Tragabuches in Ronda.

The Ronda restaurant continues to hold a star, as do El Lago in Marbella, Cafe de Paris in Málaga and Costa in El Ejido, Almeria.