First stop at San Francisco, Ferry Building Marketplace. Dubbed famous for their bakeries and artisan cheese, I was intrigued to find out more about this seemingly homely place. True enough, the relatively high ceiling, one-level Marketplace has a comfortable tone to the wall of it, and houses numerous cafes, restaurants, bakeries, farm produce, flowers and garden items.
Hog Island Oyster Co. has both indoor and alfresco dining area. The former offers a U-shape counter seats, surrounding the fresh-looking variety of oysters, while the latter offers ordinary seats, but the plus side to it is it’s just next to the Golden Gate Ferry Terminal (no it’s not the Golden Gate Bridge) – a good, scenic view of the waters. Service is prompt and fast, we were seated in just a while.
Chowder (USD$14++) :: Clams, sometimes they taste even better than oysters. These, Manila Clams, are accompanied by aromatic vegetables, bacon bits, and potato and cream. I love the creamy touch to the clams, and it’s very flavorsome. The portion is actually double the size of the picture (they kindly split the portion into two bowls knowing that we were sharing, without asking). The ingredients might not seem to have that zest to the course – they lied.
Oysters (Sweetwater, Pacific) (USD$12++) :: For half a dozen, it’s priced at USD$2 per piece, and of course, as you order more, the more value you get. Just look at the presentation, oysters on ice with a slice of lemon / lime. Complete pampering to the sight. Oh, not to mention, the oysters are impeccably fresh.
Casino (USD$12++) :: Baked with butter, spanish paprika, bacon, shallot and sprinkles of thyme, the slightly burnt edges of the baked oysters (4 pieces), coupled with the slightly strong taste of butter, was nothing short of indulging. It’s definitely a worthwhile substitute if you’ve had enough of raw food.
They do not have main courses on their menu, well, maybe just one or two fishes, but that’s about it. The main reason people come here, is probably for the view and location, doubling it up with the outstanding array of oyster choices. If you’re up for wine, beer and champagne as well, you’re on the right track here.
Address: Marketplace Shop #11-1
Telephone: (415) 391-7117
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 8pm (Mon – Fri); 11am – 6pm (Sat & Sun)
Photos by Kathleen.