This was a fantastic morning. Thanks to Jessica and Victor for inviting me to this spectacular brunch at Inspire restaurant! ^_^ They had visited this restaurant on quiet Main Street Markham beforehand and really enjoyed their food; so much so that they decided to come for brunch after seeing their chalkboard menu and also invited me to come as well. So of course, I wanted to try this restaurant out! 🙂
Victor made sure to make reservations as this restaurant has limited capacity and they even advise visitors on their website that reservations are recommended otherwise you risk not getting a table. Since we reserved for a table on an early 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday, we definitely got a table. In fact, since we were there early right on the dot, we were the first ones to walk in after they opened their doors.
Inspire Restaurant is a Chinese-Canadian fusion restaurant that is quaint and casual yet sophisticated and unique. Their decor includes parts of the wall that are designed with wooden stubs, lofty sphere lights, and a casual atmosphere with a bar. The tiny details go unnoticed such as the way they display their business card tray — miniature shopping carts stuck to the wall. I also liked how they had a flat-screen TV showing the Food Network in HD. It was a very foodie experience.
The friendly server handed us both the brunch menu and lunch menu on simple sheets of paper. As much as I wanted to choose something on the brunch menu as it was unlikely that I would be returning again for brunch, I was very drawn to the lunch options. I definitely wanted to try one of their burgers since I had heard much about it from Bernard’s photo on instagram.
Thus, I ordered the Panko Scotch Egg as a starter and the Pork Belly Bun with Duck Confit Fries (you can change it from regular hand cut Yukon fries to this for $4). Victor chose the Egg Bennies from the brunch menu and Jessica chose the Chicken & Waffles from the lunch menu, which was something that I was also very intrigued with and I was so happy that she ordered it so I could give it a try too. 🙂
The server was friendly and even inquired if I wanted my Panko Scotch Egg to arrive first or if everything could come together. I didn’t want to wait too long for food so early in the morning so I was okay with everything arriving together. Jess ordered a cappuccino that looked great in this picture.
The food arrived! It didn’t take too long and watching the beautiful food being prepared by a chef on the Food Network and chatting helped the time go by quickly without us noticing. The Panko Scotch Egg was split into two halves and included pork, gold nori egg, and spicy berry compote. I was fast to devour one half and barely noticed the spicy berry compote or the pork.
The Panko exterior was very crispy and the egg was good. It was a really good starter.
Then, the beautiful dishes started arriving. My Pork Belly Bun arrived on a long wooden board with the Duck Confit Fries distinctly piled together and fitted together into a small mound. It was quite impressive and I took ample time to give all of the dishes a photoshoot. The Duck Confit Fries were quite good and stringy. The Pork Belly Bun was lain on a French baguette which I thought was a great fit — it wasn’t too soggy and held up the pork belly with the fresh greens nicely. It was a very good sandwich! It reminded me of the deliciousness like Banh Mi Boys of long ago. We shared the fries as it was quite a lot for anyone to finish on their own! I also liked the sauce that were drizzled over the mound of fries. 🙂
The brunch that Victor ordered also contained pork belly! His Eggs Bennies included soft poached eggs, butter croissant, honey glazed pork belly (here’s where the Chinese fusion comes in :P), chili hollandaise, and bacon hash potatoes. I tried the butter croissant and also the pork belly. I really liked the butter croissant. In general, croissants are delicious but having it buttered just made it even more tasty. The pork belly in this dish wasn’t as strongly flavoured as in my Pork Belly Bun. Overall, this was still a nice brunch dish.
Oh, wow. I couldn’t rave enough about the Chicken & Waffles. The first time I had Chicken & Waffles was at Harlem Underground for Winterlicious in 2014. I remember the chicken was an interesting combination with the waffles with gravy, maple syrup, and spicy sauce. Here at Inspire, the chicken & waffles were absolutely delicious!
The fried chicken was PERFECTLY done. The inside meat was moist and juicy — so important for fried chicken and it was flavoured just right. It wasn’t too salty or over-seasoned. I only had two bites but those two bites solidified Inspire’s fried chicken as top notch! I also really admired the waffles as they were so soft and done right. What an amazing dish!! I couldn’t stop raving about it. I couldn’t imagine how much Jess’s taste buds must have been dancing all throughout that meal.
We finally finished that perfect meal and went on our merry way. It was cute that our bills arrived in a little glass cup. I definitely couldn’t believe how delicious the Chicken & Waffles dish was. If I ever return again (and I don’t see why not), I will order that dish and also try their udon carbonara… as well as some of their other intriguing starter dishes. If you haven’t tried Inspire Restaurant yet, you’re missing out! This is definitely a restaurant that you want to call in to make a reservation for! 🙂