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The inspiration behind Aliyaa, Dr Parvathy Kanthasamy is the mother of owner Abethan and has always held a deep connection to food. The delicious dishes that feature on the Aliyaa menu are based off age-old recipes handed down and perfected by Parvathy, and the recent spread at the Jaffna Food Festival was designed and finalised by her. Born in Jaffna, Dr Parvathy has since migrated to Canada where she has lived for the last few decades. A linguistics Professor by profession, and a Fulbright scholar from Stanford University, she has lectured at the University of Toronto and University of York in Canada as well as the University of Colombo and Jaffna in Sri Lanka. An award-winning social activist in Canada, Dr Parvathy founded a Tamil wellness centre in Toronto where psychiatric counselling among other things are offered. She is also deeply involved in social activism, helping to uplift and improve the lives of women and children around the country.



Chef Sivaraja is the head chef of Aliyaa where he has a mainstay in the kitchen since the opening, starting off as a Junior Chef and working his way to the top. Chef Siva, as he is fondly known, began his culinary journey in his mother’s kitchen, where he used to prepare dishes after watching her meticulously. Before heading to Malaysia to join the Aliyaa team, Chef Siva honed his skill in several of Sri Lanka’s top restaurants, learning the nuances of this colourful cuisine. He leads the kitchen team at Aliyaa in creating authentic cuisine from his home country, his favourite dish (and one of the standouts on the restaurant’s menu!) being the Jaffna Style Sri Lankan Crab. He continues to build on his passion for Sri Lankan food by bringing ever more mouth-watering dishes to Aliyaa.