I love MRKT‘s idea that they’re filling the niche of the modern indoor picnic. It’s a fun idea even if the restaurant’s space and food doesn’t really scream outdoorsy dining.
For several years, MRKT has occupied the upper-level space above Red Star and The Bower, but despite having been to the two latter places, I hadn’t been to MRKT. There were things I had heard about the eatery; it looks like you’re underneath a flipped canoe, I’d read or been told.
I can finally attest to the fact that it does sort of give you this sense of being inside a giant upside-down wooden boat. That’s probably as rustic and nature/camp-like it gets. The rest of the interior is all dark tiled floors, heavy wood-topped tables and a few other salvaged wood-type touches. Otherwise, it’s very minimal in design and it’s pretty unassuming. I have a feeling the atmosphere warms up when the space isn’t all lit up by harsh daylight.
My friend and I arrived after work on a quiet night. There were only one or two other tables occupied. Our server found our reservation and sat us down quickly. She was the only one taking care of the front of house that evening.
Since we had book club after dinner, we didn’t have a lot of time to try out much of the menu, so we opted to stick with an entree each. After a bit of deliberation and assistance from our server, my friend decided to go with the boneless beef short rib, and I decided on the tomato butter prawns.
It wasn’t too long of a wait for the food. When it arrived to our table, it looked so good.
It’s kind of difficult to make a brown slab of short rib seem pretty, but the colours from the accompanying risotto and slaw popped on the plate. The short rib pulled apart easily and my friend said it was delicious and tender.
My tomato butter prawns were wonderful. It’s likely one of the somewhat lighter dishes out of the mains available. It consists of six seared tiger prawns finished with white wine and tomato butter, placed atop sweet potato mash and covered in miso-chimichurri. The prawns were cooked perfectly and the sauce was to die for. All of the flavours worked together so well.
For my first visit to MRKT, it certainly left a lasting impression and I’m eager to go back to try some of their other offerings. Based on what I’ve eaten so far, this is a local restaurant that I would definitely recommend to everyone.