Inspire Restaurant and my day at Unionville

Posted on August 17, 2014


Most of the time, I think of my blog like a diary where I pour my heart out thinking I am just writing for self-gratification. I get jolted each time I hear that someone actually read my musings and I turn beet red in pleasure that someone actually paid attention. LOL. After almost four years of blogging, I am still not used to receiving attention for what I write. I think it would be something I would never get used to.

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So when I received an email from Janet, a follower of Food Trippin’, I snapped out of my own little universe and heeded her recommendation to go to Unionville this weekend and try out Inspire Restaurant, an Asian-inspired fusion restaurant in Markham.    I always loved Unionville as its one of the heritage villages outside downtown Toronto.  Rows of charming well-preserved Victorians and old handsome red brick-layered buildings on narrow streets, what’s not to love?

There are two parts to Unionville, one north of Kennedy Road & Hwy 7 and the other north of Markham Rd and Hwy 7.  Insipire Restaurant happens to be by the Markham Rd side.  As I turned by Markham Rd, the name changes to Main St and it was a short drive to the restaurant from that intersection.  I was quite happy that parking was easy to find and was free.

Finding the restaurant, I walked in and saw the Asian- themed hues of red and black on its interiors.  I loved it already as I love anything red.  LOL.  I was lucky to find a table by the window and I enjoyed looking out as I waited for the menu.  When my server arrived, I was handed three menus, brunch, daily and drink menus.   Looking up and down my choices, I narrowed it to two dishes, Peking Pancakes and Chicken&Waffles.  Finding it hard to decide for myself, I asked the server what she would recommend and she suggested that I try the Peking Pancakes as it only is available during brunch on weekends.  Thinking she knows the dishes better, I took her advise and after enjoying the dish, I was glad I listened.

Peking pancakes happens to be Maple-glazed-charred-Jalapeños-filled pancakes with Spiced Pork Belly with Aged Cheddar and pea sprouts.   You see, as I grew up back in Manila, I always enjoy the combination of sweet and savoury for breakfast.  I could never get any satisfaction if breakfast is continental style and I get only sweet.  This is the reason I most-often than not pick eggs over the sweet breakfast items on a brunch menu.  I need the richness and the saltiness of a protein during breakfast balanced by sweetness.  That is exactly what the Peking Pancakes gave me.

Each bite of that dish I enjoyed.  The pancakes have such a crusty edge but was soft and fluffy on the inside.  I loved that there is restraint to the sweetness on the pancake despite being drizzled with maple.  And this sweetness also had a hint of heat that didn’t burn as an end note. The pork belly was so tender, it came apart it just the fork going through it.  I got relief from richness of the pork belly as it was balanced by the bitterness of the pea shoots.  Most of the time, I don’t finish my brunch and I pack the leftovers to go but this time, I brought nothing home.  I just could not help myself.  This foodie is really happy.

Thanks Janet for telling me about Inspire restaurant.  It is indeed a gem of a find.  :)

Inspire Restaurant on Urbanspoon