I am a seafood lover. I loooove my seafood, especially my shellfish. Normal fish is only yummy pending the way it is cooked. If you overdo it or you burn it or you just add the wrong sauce or spice, a perfectly good fish can be ruined! If I had to choose a fish, my favorite fish would be white sea bass. It’s got a bit of a fishy flavor to it, but what I enjoy most is the little layer of “fish fat” right underneath the skin and the scales. When cooked in just the perfect way, that layer of fish-fat is so tasty, it’s almost better than bacon! On a health-level, it IS better than bacon!
My sister took me to a tourist-like farmers’ market off the Ferry Building in San Francisco, located just next to Fisherman’s Wharf. I think her main intent was for us to look around, get some fruit at overly-priced vendors, but I happened to be starving. Actually, when I am traveling to somewhere new or somewhere that I am not familiar with, I have an overly active tongue and appetite. That being said, despite the fact that I had breakfast 2 hours before the farmers’ market, I just HAD to get some “lunch”. So I decided to pick the San Francisco Fish Company. I had heard great reviews about it from my SF friends, and was dying to try it. Seeing their little store in the Ferry building made my heart leap right up into my salivating throat.
Items that were tasted that day included:
Oyster Po’boy Sandwich: six pieces of deep-fried, fat (not skinny) and plump oysters, served on a slightly toasted hoagie roll with tartar sauce and a side of coleslaw.
Fish Tacos: three moderate palm-sized tacos with pieces of grilled and sauteed fish, shredded to fill just the bottom of the soft-shell corn taco, then topped with purple cabbage and some type of salsa.
Fresh Oysters on a Half-Shell: nicely and freshly shucked, then halved. Served $1.50 per oyster, no pearls, but as much tartar sauce, horseradish sauce, and lemon juice that your mouth will want.
Salmon Candy: shredded salmon that have been smoked to a sweet caramel/soy-sauce flavor, not too salty and not too sweet. Very addicting once you start munching on it. Cost :$30/lb (!!)
I would have to say that the top two finalists would be the oyster po’boy sandwich and the oysters-on-a-half-shell. Can you tell that I love my oysters? I prefer them deep fried which is probably why the po’boy sat so wonderfully well with my palate. As for the half-shells, I can only do so much. Perhaps three or four might be a good average day for me to consume oysters-on-a-half-shell. These (for those of you who do not know) are raw oysters. That’s right. I love to drown it in lemon juice and just a small dollop of cocktail sauce. Some individuals like to take it as a whole, with nothing on it. I don’t think I could stomach that. After I disregarded Momma Lim’s warning of food poisoning (and then getting her to take one with me), I consumed my one oyster. It was well worth it. Then again, one cannot visit California and not get seafood!
Third runner up would be the salmon candy. Mmm. There are a few pieces, usually the smaller ones, that can get a little dry. The flavor however, is (as mentioned), pretty addicting. I believe my sister ate almost a quarter pound just in one sitting. It does have quite a bit of flavor to it, but I’m not sure how else to serve it. The asian in me would want to serve it with “zouk” (rice porridge/congee) but that would totally take away from the true “seafood flavor” that it brings. It might actually be quite delicious when wrapped with seaweed laver (“gim”) and a little bit of rice.
The biggest disappointment were the fish tacos. Why? Not enough fish and flavor, too much slaw and vegetables. I could barely get the seafood in my photo! That’s saying a little something don’t you think? When you lessen the seafood, you only enhance the other flavors which essentially leaves you with soft taco and lettuce. The last time I checked, I was a human who was seeking the flavors of a fish-taco-slaw-sauce combination and not…a rabbit. Two thumbs down!
- Oyster Po’Boy Sandwich: ****.5 (4.5 stars)
- Fish Tacos: *.5 (1.5 stars, for being healthy)
- Oysters on a Half Shell: **** (4 stars)
- Salmon Candy: **** (4 stars)
If you wanted to check out the San Francisco Fish Company yourself during your visit to SF the information is as follows:
1 Ferry Building Suite 31
San Francisco, Ca 94111