Curiosity is back with another week of Meal Deal restaurant reviews. I recently checked out a local Markham restaurant named Inspire. They billed themselves as an Asian Fusion restaurant, so I reserved some judgement, depending on how they “fused” the cuisines.
144 Main St. Markham N
Markham, L3P 5T3
The decor of the place was very DIY. Seeing as how DIY is extremely popular lately, it earns tons of points for staying on trend. The place is very… New Agey. It’s the only description I can think of to describe the place. The interior is quite dark and it makes me think, come winter, will it be difficult to see inside? As much as I enjoy the light fixtures they use, they really don’t provide a lot of lighting.
I ordered the Udon Carbonara, made with Spicy Chorizo, Braised Beef, Honey Mushrooms in a creamy white wine reduction topped with Quail eggs. I surprisingly enjoyed it. Substituting the pasta with udon was interesting, but that was what it was, substitution. The meal was spicier than I expected, given I can’t handle spice, I ate it all. So that can only mean that I enjoyed it. You would think that the Chorizo sausages would’ve given it away, but nope, totally didn’t occur to me that it would be spicy. The mushrooms were underneath all the udon so it took a while to get to, but it was not bad. I probably should’ve attempted to mix the dish before I tasted it. The sauce was very creamy and the extra pepper that I asked to be ground on top was probably a mistake. I enjoyed the fried lotus root even though it was mostly tasteless.
My companion ordered the INSP Burger, made with Beef, Seared Pork Belly, Fried Egg, Mango Mayo spread on Sweet Brioche Bun. It came with hand cut Yukon Potato fries. The burger at first bite felt dry apparently, but as he continued to eat it, it got moister and (as it tends to happen) he was dripping all over his plate. The fried egg that was in the middle of the burger had a raw yolk, so when you get to it, it was a nice surprise. The deep fried taro strings gave it a good crunch. The entire burger was really filling. Now for the sides. The fries were done really well and the aioli on top was delicious. Curiosity, of course, couldn’t help herself and stole a few bites. It was reminiscent of Japanese mayo with something more. The only regret my companion had was that he wish that the sauce was on the side, so that he could dip all of his fries in it.
Overall, it was a good experience. Given that the location is on Main St. Markham, I am unsure how long this restaurant will last. It plays with Asian fusion food while competing with the long standing sushi restaurant next door. One thing I do have to say, for a new restaurant, their staff is quite good and the food came out surprisingly quickly. I hope it stays around for a while, I look forward to trying the rest of the menu.