From left: Eric Jon, Ben Co, Ivy Vi and Patrick Vi of CJ Asian Garden are ready to serve their customers at their 100 Avenue location. – Stephen Dafoe Photo
by Ashley Janes
Only two short months ago, Ivy Yen Vi opened a new restaurant in Morinville called CJ Asian Garden. You’ll find it across from the Service Credit Union on 100 avenue and 102 street, right where the Albert’s Family Restaurant use to be.
Yen Vi’s goal in starting up was to provide quality home-style Asian food at an affordable price. Since then, business has flourished and her volume of success suggests that things will only get better for the young restaurateur.
Smiling behind the counter, the owner explained that she chose Morinville for many reasons, the primary one being that she enjoys the small town atmosphere. “We’re still close to the city,” she added. “And everyone here is so friendly.”
Yen Vi reported that, throughout the passing weeks, her staff have received plenty of excellent feedback from the clientele including first time diners coming in on recommendations. “The people have been phenomenal so far – we already have plenty of regulars!”
The dishes on the CJ Asian Garden menu are mainly Chinese, including fan favorites such as Green Onion Cakes, Wor Wonton Soup, and Satay Beef Shanghai Noodles, but there are also Vietnamese and Western dishes to try.
According to Yen Vi, their most popular dishes have been the Honey Pea Shrimp, the Honey Pepper Beef, and all of their seafood dishes like the Spicy Squid, but she strongly recommended that customers branch out and try any of their Vietnamese dishes which include a variety of vermicelli noodle bowls such as Pork with Spring Rolls.
Greg Cramp, a Morinville resident and repeat customer stated that during every dining experience at CJ Asian Garden, both the food and the service was great. “The ginger beef was excellent and I really liked the spring rolls. I will definitely be going back again soon to try other dishes.”
Cramp’s comment touched on another aspect of the restaurant business that Yen Vi adamantly prioritizes. She thinks that a successful restaurant is built on more than just well received food, and that attentive service is the key to pleasing the majority of customers. “We find when you show people you genuinely enjoy and value their business, it makes a world of difference for their overall experience.”
To sum it all up in a few words: Yen Vi believes in quality food and good service. Oh, and they deliver. Which means that CJ Asian Garden has scored the Morinville restaurant hat trick. They’re open Tuesday to Sunday and you can’t find them on the internet yet but you can reach them by phone at 780-572-5068.