San Franciscans are nothing if not adventurous. Add that daredevil spirit to our love of food and you've got a deadly combination -- perhaps literally.
This winter, daring diners can pull up a seat at Ame in the St. Regis Hotel for a sip of fugu fin sake: blowfish tea. The tea, a Japanese delicacy, consists of warm Karatamba sake steeped with the roasted fin of a blowfish -- the same blowfish that is lethal if sliced incorrectly. (Seriously, our sources tell us it's the real deal.) Allegedly, the sake unleashes the flavor of the roasted blowfish, resulting in a rich and aromatic cocktail, perfect for warding off winter weather. (And potential enemies?) A six-ounce cup goes for $15 and is served with a side of roasted blowfish fin.
According to NBC Bay Area, the fish takes an hour to prepare safely, is highly lethal -- "from the eyeballs to the blood" -- and is illegal in the states. But roasted fins are available in Japan in winter and are carried by hand to San Francisco.
Fortunately for diners (and the restaurant's insurance agent), the winter tea is harmless, as Ame doesn't fool around: the Michelin-starred restaurant's Chef Hiro Sone is a James Beard Award winner and is an expert at preparing fish, even the lethal kind. Kanpai!