I had wanted to eat at Lake Inez for quite awhile. I had read nothing but great things, and the idea of Filipino-Asian fusion sounded too delicious and interesting. All the pictures I saw were really alluring, so I knew we had to go. I ended up making a reservation far in advance. But the night we went, JH and I were both really exhausted – me from my meds, and him from work. I was so tired that I brought my SLR, but without an SD card, so we ended up using JH’s camera phone to take photos (in maybe not the most optimal light). We were hoping to be in and out of dinner but the restaurant was almost completely full at 6:30, so we experienced slower service than we hoped. I almost fell asleep at the table.
We thought service was going to be an issue. We were given menus and waters about 10 minutes in. Nobody actually looked at us until about 20 minutes in. We were very close to leaving until we finally locked eyes with one of the servers, and she came and took our order. Once we met our actual server, he was really nice and apologetic. He comped JH’s beer (they did not have the one he wanted to order, but they gave him a shot of the closest alternative to try), and was fully attentive to us the rest of the service. We forgave them for the slow start.
The restaurant’s menu looked really appealing. We pretty much wanted to order everything. I kind of wish at that point that we were a big group who could order the entire menu (and sit at the banquette at the front with natural light). We sat directly in front of the banquette in a two-seater.
Anyhow we ended up ordering the following dishes:
- Japanese Deviled Eggs ($6) – This was a delicious little bite. The nori was the predominant flavour so it reminded me very much of sushi. It almost did not feel like an egg, so I am not sure if I would really class this as a deviled egg taste-wise.
- Filipino BBQ Pork Skewer ($8) – This was our favourite dish. The pork was incredibly tender with a bit of sweet overtones intermixed with charcoal flavour from the grill. The vinegar sauce it was served with also had a good bite.
- Market Fish Curry with Roti ($25 + $4) – We also loved this dish. The curry was tangier and a bit more citrusy than most Southeast Asian curries we have had in the past. I liked the textural combination with the squash, nuts and cabbage. It was a good portion to match the hefty $25 price tag.
- We ended up enjoying the roti on its own without the curry because it was really flavourful. We both thought it tasted a bit cheesy, like warm cheese bread.
- Beef Short Ribs ($28) – This is probably another good sharing dish. JH and I were stuffed after this and the curry. The plate did come with a heaping amount of beef and lettuce to make the lettuce wraps. We wished the mashed kimchi had a bit more heat, but the lettuce wrap ate well with the pickled radish and accompanying mayo. The short rib was really tender, and it almost did not feel like short rib at all. I thought it reminded me of brisket.
- The mains did take a while to come, but our server said that the grill gets busy when the restaurant is at capacity.
All in all, minus the initial service hiccups, JH and I really enjoyed the food. It was a really good dinner, and I would consider (at an earlier time) maybe going back with a group (we would need about 8-10 people). There are a number of dishes I want to try including the pastas and vegetable dishes.
Other little details:
- Parking – The restaurant is located near Gerrard and Cowell – 1471 Gerrard St E. We parked close to the restaurant on Gerrard using the Green P parking app.
- There is no dress code.
- The restaurant is really loud. There was something about the acoustics, but it was a bit deafening. JH and I pretty much had to shout a bit to talk to each other. We think there may have been music playing in the restaurant but it was too loud to tell.
- I also tend to dislike really dark restaurants. I wish there was more natural light in the restaurant.
- We got there at 6:30PM, and left shortly after 8PM. The restaurant was full, and our table was the only available table when we left.
- We made a reservation on OpenTable.
- They take cash, credit (no Amex), debit.
- Social Media – Instagram