Lunch at Inspire Restaurant (Markham, Ontario)

12:30:00 PM

For this lunch adventure, my foodie colleagues were hungry.  I suggested that we try "Inspire Restaurant."  With no objections, we were on our way. I heard of this restaurant from a few Toronto food bloggers and saw many positive reviews online (on yelp, google reviews). I was naturally very curious to visit and try their foods.

Atmosphere:
The restaurant was located on Main Street on the north-west side. This restaurant was also near the Rawlicious restaurant that I visited recently (link here). The restaurant wasn't large too large. You could probably fit about 20 people max. The custom woodblock walls were everywhere at the head table area. The ambiance was relaxed with dark red motifs scatter along the walls.

Service:
There was 1 server for the front of the restaurant. She was very busy with many customers. However, she was able to take our orders quickly and provide us drinks with refills when required.

Food:
Inspire Restaurant served "creative" dishes from fast food favourites (such as burgers, tacos) with an Asian twist. We had asked the server for a recommendation and she gave the top two choices:

Chicken and Waffle
  • Crispy Chicken + Fresh Homemade Waffle + Ginger Maple + Spicy Berry Compote - $17
  • Fried Egg on top - $1
The INSP Burger
  • Grade Prime Beef + Seared Pork Belly + Fried Egg + Tarragon Tomato Mayo - $17
The dish presentations were very good (especially for Instagram postings). I got the Chicken and Waffle dish and was very impressed with the stacking architecture. Regarding the food, the simple berry compote and the ginger maple syrup were surprising standouts. It was refreshing to have that ginger flavour in maple to give flavour twist. The waffle was simple but plain tasting. Chicken provided were all boneless yet almost flavourless. The skin was crispy and juicy inside but the skin had a very subtle taste of soy sauce. I was expecting a lot more flavours from the chicken but ended up very disappointed.  There was too much chicken just for one person and gave away the rest to my colleagues for sampling. The overall agreement from the table was - more salt and pepper or even usage of a 5 spice seasoning might have saved this chicken. Sometimes, I don't like to have my fried chicken covered in sauces. I preferred to have the crispy skin!

From the foodie feedback regarding the INSP Burger, it was an okay burger - not astonishing - but not bad either. We launched into a discussion about where else to find a better burger here (a guy ate like 300+ burgers around Toronto and gave his recommendations. Overall, you can get a better burger at Fresh Burger with a cheaper price.

Verdict:
I noticed online that the restaurant had a lot of job openings. The restaurant might have been rated excellent in the past but for this visit, it was just average for a costly lunch meal. The ginger maple syrup was a nice touch - soy with chicken skin - not so much impact. I wouldn't come back. I wasn't too inspired by the meal.

Reviewer: Eating With Gordon
Visit Date: April 2017
Food Rating: 3.5/5
Service Rating: 3/5

Food Photos:
INSP burger

Chicken and Waffles

Non-Food Photos:



this was their artwork at the front of house



free to grab business  cards
Name:Inspire Restaurant
Price Range:$$
Cuisine:Western food with Fusion
Address:144 Main St N #1, Markham, ON L3P 5T3
Phone:(905) 554-2889
Menu URL:
Website:        
Hours:
Sunday11:30AM-3PM,6-10PM
MondayCLOSED
Tuesday6–10PM
Wednesday6–10PM
Thursday11:30AM-3PM,6-11PM
Friday11:30AM-3PM,6-11PM
Saturday11:30AM-3PM,6-11PM
Map:


Inspire Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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