The first thing you notice about CMR is that they do take their coffee seriously and it is evident in the final product. They roast beans in house a couple of times a week and I assume grind upon demand.
The result was a good cup of dark roasted coffee with rich flavour and none of the acidity that sometimes takes the joy out of it. I am not a bearded hipster coffee expert as you can guess by my description but I do enjoy my Starbucks dark roast black and steer clear of Tim Hortons as best I can. That should be enough said about that.
In case you have been wondering, we came to CMR for the Chicken and Waffles Challenge but we wanted to try a couple of other things too. We started with the Vegan Bulgogi Wrap. I can tell you that the protein involved here was tofu and the wrap was a spinach tortilla. Beyond that, deconstruction revealed a tasty mix of rice, carrots, and other shredded items with a bulgogi sauce. Not too bad!
Staying with the vegetarian theme (so far) we tried their Avocado Benny. This was nicely presented with some decent fried potatoes, fruit and pickles. Topped with a perfectly poached egg and buttery hollandaise, the avocado and tomato beneath were also of good quality and tasty. However, the whole concept of a benny that is both warm and cold did not bring a tear to my eye. I would have preferred the ingredients separately (in fact, we did eat it that way). Isn't a benny more typically all warm ingredients?
Finally, there was the above-mentioned Ramen Crusted Chicken and Waffles. Here the concept caught my imagination and indeed the coating which involved ground up ramen noodles was crisp and tasted good. The piece of chicken breast was either pounded or sliced thin making it reminiscent of the Hot Star or J&G type chicken that is so popular now. Unfortunately, and I couldn't tell you if this will always be the case, it tended toward stringiness. Not sure what to tell you about that. It did not cut or pull apart nicely and felt maybe overcooked. And as usual, I was not enamoured of the waffles (is it possible that I just don't care for waffles?). Served with cinnamon-scented syrup, honey-mustard sauce, spicy tartar and more potatoes, pickles and salad, this was again a nicely composed offering. It just didn't blow us away.
C Market is a sharp, nicely decorated space with mostly friendly staff (except for one person who chose not to make eye contact). Go for the coffee. There are a lot of other choices on the menu and some weekly 'events' (a wine tasting evening) that might be fun.
For what its worth, we give C Market Roastery and Kitchen, 3 out of 5.