What’s on the menu at Lake Inez, a pan-Asian restaurant and craft beer bar with Robbie Hojilla in the kitchen

What’s on the menu at Lake Inez, a pan-Asian restaurant and craft beer bar with Robbie Hojilla in the kitchen

Name: Lake Inez
Neighbourhood: Little India
Contact: 1471 Gerrard St. E., 416-792-1590, lakeinezto.com, @lakeinez
Owners: Dennis Kimeda (The Wren), Patrick Ciappara, Zac Schwartz
Chef: Robbie Hojilla (Harbord Room, Hudson Kitchen)

The food

Filipino dishes like lumpia (spring rolls) and arroz caldo (rice porridge), inspired by recipes from Hojilla’s mom and aunt. Other pan-Asian plates on the menu, with slight French tweaks, include braised mussels in a smoked ham-hock and tamarind broth, a Szechuan chili oil–accented chicken liver mousse, and coconut sorbet served with freeze-dried durian.

House-made Malaysian-style roti. $4.

Pan-roasted carrots cured in miso paste, with edamame hummus and toasted quinoa furikake. $12.

Sunchoke skewers are grilled over Japanese charcoal then given a teriyaki glaze and topped with sunflower seed dressing and bacon. $6 for two.

Hojilla at the grill.

The Thai winter vegetable salad is a mix of turnip, kohlrabi, carrot, crispy parsnips, kale, spotted radicchio, and green apple. It’s all tossed in a dressing made with fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar, chilies, dried shrimp and peanuts. $13.

Pan-seared duck leg served on arroz caldo and garnished with ginger, lime, fish sauce, aged soy, herbs and a slow- cooked egg. $24.

Thai-style curry with charcoal-grilled BC snapper, squash, savoy cabbage, cilantro and peanuts. $26.

Chiffon cake with calamansi lime curd, crispy meringue and whipped cream. $9.

The kitchen crew, from left to right: Moffat Kiloh, Robbie Hojilla, Bejoy Chowdhury and Karanraj Kathirkamathulingarasa.

The drinks

As it is at sister spot the Wren, the focus of Lake Inez’s drink menu is Ontario craft beer, with 18 rotating brews on tap and a selection of large-format bottles. There’s a short list of wine, all of which comes from 16 Mile Cellar, and signature cocktails like the Borocay Sunset made with calamansi lime–infused rum, sake, Campari and coconut syrup.

The beer lineup (which may have changed since this photo was taken).
The space

The focus of the large room is an impressive stained-glass mosaic depicting both Kate Bush and Virginia Woolf as angels. It took Schwartz two months of 14-hour days to create, and he went through 120-square-feet of glass.


There’s that mural in the background.

Here’s a closer look.

The bar.