New Cornwall Restaurant Offers Sri Lankan Flavours

By Bob Peters
May 16, 2012

Raj SivaCornwall has always had a reputation for some great restaurants - especially when it comes to pizza. That reputation is reaching broader palettes with the recent opening of three Thai restaurants, and now Asian Gardin is here to offer Indian and South Asian cuisine.

The small and cozy restaurant is located at the corner of Pitt and Third, and has been building a loyal clientele since it opened March 23. The restaurant features a number of popular dishes such as Biryani and Kottu Roty, and offers an buffet as well.

Asian Garden is operated by owner and chef Raj Siva, born and raised in Sri Lanka and here in Cornwall by way of Montreal. Raj moved to Cornwall to raise his young family. He has a 3 1/2 year old son, who he calls his 'miracle' child after he and his wife struggled for a while to conceive.

"Cornwall offers a better opportunity for us to raise our son, " says Raj. "Next year he will be attending St. Peter's School."

Raj is a photographer by trade and learned the business from his father. He quickly earned a reputation for excellence throughout Montreal as a wedding photographer, and was in demand from a wide variety of people. It was during his visits to countless halls and restaurants that he came up with the idea of creating a restaurant and banquet hall.

"The Sri Lankan community in Montreal is quite large, but at the time did not have a community hall that they could call their own," he recalls. "I invested a lot of money into building just such a hall and ended up having 300 seats."

Raj sold the business last year and moved to Cornwall. He visited the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre to research the community and to plan his next move.

"They provided me with a lot of help and good ideas," he says.

Asian Gardin features a menu of great tasting dishes, all cooked by Raj using natural, fresh ingredients. His standard of excellence means that only fresh oil is used to cook - allowing the flavour of each dish to shine through.

"Sri Lankan food is a little bit more spicy than Indian food," he says. "We also use more coconut when we cook."

A recent visit to the restaurant found three diners enjoying their dinners. It was their first time at Asian Gardin - but after hearing about them talk about the food, it certainly won't be the last.

"This meal is fabulous!" said one diner. "We have a new gem of a restaurant in Downtown Cornwall!"

Already the food at Asian Gardin has people making special detours from Highway 401 to pick up dinner on their way back to Montreal. Raj plans to expand his menu by adding cool summer desserts as well as opening early to offer breakfast.

You can reach Asian Gardin by calling 613 936-9900 or by visiting at 309 Pitt Street.

Entrepreneurs in Action

Entrepreneurs in Action is a new initiative by the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre to profile small to medium-sized businesses that have recently opened in Cornwall, S.D. & G. and Akwesasne. To see all of the current profiles, please visit the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre website at:

About the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre

The Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre helps small business owners and entrepreneurs succeed in Cornwall, Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry & Akwesasne by offering information, tools and support during the start-up and growth stages of business operation.  The Centre also offers seminars, workshops and networking opportunities that are designed with the entrepreneur in mind.

The Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre is operated by Cornwall Economic Development in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation.


Category: Business