Cornwall 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 streets, 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 a buffet as well.
Asian Gardin 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.
"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."