When you’re feeling a little bit hungry and you’re not quite sure what you’re in the mood for, sometimes the best solution is to go out for some Asian fusion cuisine.
Here, you get a bit of Western influence with Asian flavours, and it’s always a nice change of pace.
The first thing that you’ll notice about Inspire Restaurant is the beautiful decor. The restaurant has a modern yet warm feeling, with birch wood floors and tables offset by cream-coloured and graffiti-style walls. The overall effect is very inviting and makes you feel like you’re in for a treat. The lighting is dim but not too dark, and there are little tea lights scattered around the room to add a bit of ambiance.
Rated as one of the best Markham restaurants that locals love, Inspire is definitely worth a visit. The menu has something for everyone, with both small and large plates available.
Inspire Restaurant Review
The menu at Inspire features a wide variety of dishes from different Asian fusion cuisines, so there’s something for everyone.
We like how their menu is short, simple, and straightforward, which makes decision-making easy.
We decided to come here with our family and here’s what we tried. There were four of us and we decided to order a variety of dishes for everyone to share.
After trying their food, we can say that Inspire Restaurant in Markham is the perfect place to get your fix of both familiar and exotic flavours.
1. Mango Jalapeno Margarita
As a starter, we ordered a drink.
My mom and I don’t usually order drinks since we don’t like soda or alcohol, but my dad loves his alcohol!
He’s more of a beer type of guy but unexpectedly my mom wanted to try a sip of something sweet. They were both intrigued by the Jalapeno Margarita, so, why not give it a try? Happy wife, happy life.
In my dad’s opinion, the mango jalapeno margarita was pretty good, except the drink is a little sweet for his liking. According to him, the side of the glass had a kick of jalapeno while the entire drink was blended with intense mango flavour. My mom seemed to like it more even though my dad ended up finishing it.
Would he order this again? Probably not. It was just for the sake of letting my mom try a sip. He’d rather go for a beer next time.
2. Duck Tacos
The Inspire duck confit tacos were wrapped in a soft tortilla.
It came with curried aioli and that wasn’t super saucy! Surprisingly, it was just the right amount given most restaurants love to flood their tacos with sauce. It contained jicama slaw, and some feta cheese topped with cilantro. The best topping here was the crispy taro chips, giving it a nice crispy and crunchy texture – yum!
It comes with only 2, so if you have more people, you’d probably want to order more. My mom and dad don’t really eat a lot, so they wanted to share one. This appetizer was one of the best for tonight and our family enjoyed it!
If we had to explain this dish, we would say it was like a blend of Chinese Peking duck pancakes with some inspired Mexican flavours inside the tacos – very unique and delicious indeed!
3. Inspire Loco Moco
This was a fried rice coconut dish with shrimp, crispy taro chips, and fried egg.
If you’re a coconut and fried rice lover, then you’re going to gobble down this plate easily. It’s the reason why mom and husband enjoyed it. They literally go nuts over coconuts! It had a good amount of flavour and was a pleasant dish to share.
My dad and I, on the other hand, thought it was just good. Not spectacular because I am not a huge fan of rice. Odd hearing that from an Asian, right?
Along with that, my dad thought it lacked flavour. But don’t listen to him because he thinks almost everything lacks flavour unless it’s a dish like the Udon Carbonara, which I’m going to review next.
4. Udon Carbonara
Now, if you’re a fan of the classic Carbonara dish, like the one from Cheesecake Factory, then you’re going to love the udon carbonara.
Inspired by the Italian and Japanese dishes, they basically swapped the Italian pasta with Japanese udon noodles.
This dish is consists of Japanese stir-fried udon noodles mixed with super creamy sauce. It was my dad’s favorite dish because he’s the type of guy who loves savoury dishes with intense flavours. I can see where he’s coming from because my husband and I were addicted to this dish too.
We bet that you can’t stop eating this after sampling the udon carbonara. It’s sort of like crack after taking that first bite – haha!
5. Waff Out Loud
Next, we tried their popular “Waff Out Loud” dish which is steak and fried chicken on a thick piece of waffle.
This plate is seriously filling only if you finish the waffles too. They are VERY thick and fluffy. Honestly speaking, I personally wasn’t a fan of their waffle or the dish.
However, my mom, dad, and husband thought it was amazing!
My dad and husband loved the steak. I have to admit the steak was pretty good too, but not the fried chicken (in my opinion). They enjoyed the fried chicken along with the sweet sauce that came with it. I thought the sauce was a bit salty and sweet.
My main complaint is that the chicken wasn’t white meat. If I had to eat fried chicken, I’d prefer it to be crispy chicken breast. Like the ones in those chicken sandwiches or burgers that people go crazy over. I was never a fan of dark meat, but if you don’t mind which part of the chicken is given to you, then you’ll likely enjoy this dish as much as my family did.
Of all the dishes, I have to say that this one will be the most filling if you were to finish it all by yourself due to the excessive amount of waffles they give you.
6. “OG” Insp
The “OG Insp” is pretty much your typical saucy beef burger with fries. It came with beef, pork belly, fried egg, cheese, and bacon. It was juicy and delicious, so there is obviously no complaint there!
My husband loves his burgers, so this was one of his favorite dishes tonight. If this restaurant was located in Toronto, my husband would throw this in our list of the best mouth-watering burgers in Toronto.
Since there were four of us, we decided to cut the burger into four pieces so that we could each sample it. My mom and dad agree that it was a good burger packed with tons of flavour. But if you have a sensitive stomach, you may think it’s a bit too oily for you.
I’m generally a very sloppy cutter, but surprisingly, I was able to cut this nicely into equal quarters! Look at how juicy and delicious this burger is! Salivating…
It came with fries on the side, but we weren’t fans because they weren’t fresh. The fries were super soggy and not crispy. By the end of dinner, we noticed that the plates were all empty except for the fries.
Despite the soggy fries and my personal distaste for the waffles and dark meat chicken, I would say that the food overall was pretty good! My personal favorites were the duck tacos and the udon carbonara! My husband loved the burger and coconut fried rice. I agree, the burger was delish!
As for my mom, she enjoyed the coconut rice and fried chicken the most.
Lastly, my dad was a huge fan of the udon carbonara and steak from the waffle dish.
Overall, we loved most of the dishes and thought that they were all reasonably priced.
The service was okay. Our waitress was polite and attentive, but she didn’t check on us as frequently as we would’ve liked (mainly for water refills). By the way, the water they serve here is infused with mint and cucumber flavour making it refreshing for hot summery day.
The ambiance was pretty good! With a modern, industrial vibe, the restaurant was dimly lit when you go further to the back of where we were sitting. We liked the overall aesthetic of the place. It was also pretty quiet when we went, which was nice. Our family got there at 6:00 P.M. on a weekday so it wasn’t overly crowded.
Inspire Restaurant is priced at an average of $11 – $30 per dish. We ordered five dishes in total for 4 people and our bill came out to be around $142.38 before tips. With tips included, our bill was $168.01 making it $42 per person.
We believe the price is very fair. If anything, my dad thought it was a really good deal since he loved the food. On top of that, he was comparing this meal to the cost of Joey’s restaurant. He and my mom go there often with my sister and they think the prices are much higher there. They would definitely prefer this over Joey’s because Inspire is a fusion of Asian and Western, which gives them the best of both worlds. Though it’s not the same type of restaurant, he said Inspire is a good change in taste and environment.
Inspire Restaurant in Markham Rating: 4.2/5
Rui and I are giving Inspire a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.
We would definitely come back to Inspire Restaurant! The food was very good and reasonably priced. Although the service could be better, it was still decent. The ambiance was also great. We would recommend this place to others! So, if you’re ever in the area and are looking for a good meal, be sure to check out Inspire Restaurant!
Have you been to Inspire Restaurant? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!