It has taken me some time to perfect the art of dining alone on business trips. Recently though, in San Francisco, I think I came close to cracking it. The secret, I have come to believe, is eating at the bar. There is always something or someone to keep you on the edge of your seat. You could watch over a busy kitchen or the meticulous preparation of some elaborate cocktails. You could even find yourself chatting to another road warrior.
After a day exploring the city, I found myself as hungry as a sea lion at Pier 39. I expected the food on offer to be underwhelming. However, I was very pleasantly surprised by Fog Harbor Fish House. It is a smart family-run eatery at the entrance to the pier, that takes sustainable seafood seriously.
Being a party of one, I managed to glide past the sizeable queue for tables by plumping for a seat at the bar. Inside, the bar had fabulous views across the restaurant and out to the bay. The service was attentive and friendly, and dining alone didn’t make me feel remotely crabby.
Fresh crab ceviche with Dungeness Crab fresh from the bay
I can wholly recommend ordering the Dungeness crab ceviche with tortilla chips, which I enjoyed for starters. I made short work of the generous pile of crabmeat, which had fresh mango and coconut milk mixed throughout. This accentuated the sweetness of the chunky white shreds of Dungeness’ finest. While a feisty mixture of jalapeño, onion, lime and coriander, made the dish pop. The barman quickly replenished the fresh-tasting tortilla chips as I chomped my way through them.
Afterwards, I treated myself to the jumbo scallop and crab risotto. The restaurant jazzed up the risotto with Parmesan, coriander pesto and beurre blanc – a rich French butter sauce. The scallops surrounded the risotto like points on a compass, while a slice of lemon and scattering of cress added a splash of colour.
Reunited with my partner after a long week away, I attempted to recreate the fresh crab ceviche at home with fresh white Orkney crab.
Try my fresh crab ceviche recipe inspired by Fog Harbor Fish House in San Francisco
- 200 g fresh white crab meat
- 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 3 tbsp cubed fresh mango
- 1 tbsp sliced jalapeño
- 2 finely chopped spring onions
- 4 tbsp coconut milk
- 1/2 fresh lime
- A sprig of loosely chopped fresh coriander
- A handful of salted tortilla chips
Mix the crab meat with the coconut, mango, jalapeño and onions in a large bowl
Pour the coconut milk and lime juice over the mixture and stir throughout, along with a handful for the freshly sliced coriander
Grab a handful of the mixture and squeeze until most of the liquid escape. Compact the crab mixture into a tight pile and place onto a plate
Pour the coconut milk around the pile of crab and place a few of the tortilla chips on the side