Since June 2018, The MAR·KET Fishmonger & Eatery in Edmonds has been serving up some of the finest seafood in the region. Back then, this hidden gem flew under the radar of many. While the quality of the food is just as good as it was back then, it’s quickly become a food destination. MAR·KET Seattle is set to open a new location at the Seattle Art Museum, providing catering and café operations. Fans will recognize many favorites but expect some surprises from Chef de Cuisine Hans Korompis. Since the new location will serve many of the same favorites Edmonds, this seemed like a great time to tell people why I’m a fan.
I met Chef Hans years ago when he ran a chicken rice stand at Shoreline Farmers Market. I visited him almost weekly for this comforting dish, fried tofu, and popcorn chicken. Prior to taking over at The MAR·KET, Chef Hans worked at Feedme Hospitality and Restaurant Group sister restaurant Salt & Iron.
Tons of people talk about the Maine lobster roll at The MAR·KET. Personally, I’m a fan of the Connecticut lobster roll and I’m glad they expanded to include it on the regular menu. Chunks of lobster dressed and nestled in an Essential Baking Co. brioche roll is a seafood lover’s dream. The quality is consistent and it’s no surprise it became their signature item.
While Tik Tokers and other foodies flock to The MAR·KET for the lobster rolls, it’s literally one thing on the menu. Over the years, I’ve tried menu items like crab in a bag, fish and chips, fish tacos, oysters, and the Dungeness crab roll. While the lobster roll is the star of the show to many, there’s something so PNW about having a Dungeness crab roll here. Imagine sweet crab meat lightly dressed in aioli and brown butter, served on a Macrina Bakery roll. I highly recommend this if lobster isn’t your thing or if they run out of lobster. My mom’s favorite item is the crab in a bag – fried soft-shell crab seasoned with chilis, garlic and other spices that makes a great shareable for a group. The MAR·KET opened when tasty fish and chips was limited to a handful of places in the area. The fish is prepared well with high quality cuts and don’t sleep on the fries. A perfectly cooked french fry is a thing of beauty! The fish tacos have a great balance of textures and flavors. The beer battered rockfish is handled properly and fried crisp. The Napa cabbage adds a bit of fresh crunch. The mango salsa is everything sweet and spicy I want in the world, although I could use a bit more heat. Queso fresco provides familiar creaminess but combined with Thai cilantro sauce and house aioli, it takes things up a notch. A seafood restaurant in the PNW has to serve oysters. I’ve had Virginicas here as big as my hand!!!
A restaurant with robust specials is one that will keep me coming back for more. Specials like seafood stew, shrimp loco moco, halibut Indian curry, lemongrass shrimp and grits, seafood ramen, and Singaporean chili king crab are some of the specials I’ve tried. I’ve also enjoyed non-seafood specials like the spicy cauliflower bowl, seasonal salads (the best one had pomegranate slices), chicken wings and even chicken rice, although I instigated that one, longing for the days I could get it from Chef Hans at the farmers market. It’s not an easy task to develop a menu full of flavorful options. Developing monthly specials is also a challenge which The MAR·KET has met. Some of these dishes have taken my breath away and while I’m sad when they’re gone, I look forward to new specials the following month.
The cold case used to be full of raw seafood offerings, ready to be cooked to order. My favorite thing to pick out was scallops. They do a perfect sear and the scallops are cooked properly every time! Please be aware that there have been a number of changes during the pandemic and I’m not sure they still do this anymore. If they don’t, I highly recommend trying it if the opportunity arises in the future.
Earlier this year, I interviewed Shubert Ho, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Feedme Hospitality, the parent company of The MAR·KET for Seattle Foodie Podcast. Chef Shubert shared the origins of the company as well as some of their journey. When the pandemic hit, Feedme Hospitality laid off about 200 of their 210 employees. The conversation shifted to what does the community need? Salt & Iron became a production kitchen for feeding children that normally received meals at school. Potlatch Bistro offers a charitable lunch program that aims to address food insecurity among seniors. These programs allowed the company to slowly hire employees back while also meeting food insecurity with the help of community members paying it forward.
It’s rare to find a restaurant with a solid menu and consistent execution. The MAR·KET delivers on the promise of fresh seafood prepared right which makes it one of my favorite destinations in the area. The fact that it’s a business embedded in community and principles of helping others makes this an easy choice for my family and I to frequent on a regular basis.
Now that I’ve written my love letter to The MAR·KET, I can tell you a bit about MAR·KET Seattle. I was invited for a soft opening over the weekend. The space is much larger than the Edmonds location. It’s very bright and airy. At the back of the dining room, there’s a bar that isn’t being used but hey, we can always hope for great happy hours in the future. The dining room provides a variety of seating options whether you’re having lunch alone or coming with a group.
The menu, as promised, highlighted some favorites from the Edmonds location and some new creations like fish pakoras and salmon banh mi. I had the pleasure of dining with my friends Annie, Jessie, and Nelson. Good food and friends is all I need! We were treated to a feast! I’m grateful that I work downtown sometimes so I’ll be able to stop by to try the coffee service and pastries in the mornings.
The MAR·KET Fishmonger & Eatery in Edmonds is located at 508 Main Street and is open between Monday-Friday from 11am-9pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-9pm.
MAR·KET Seattle is located at Seattle Art Museum, 1300 1st Avenue and is scheduled to open on September 29th.