Miami hotel charging USD 600 for Norwegian crabs
An upscale Miami Beach, Florida-based hotel is featuring a limited batch of 8-pound Norwegian red king crab for USD 600 (EUR 519) each.
The exclusive, gigantic crabs featured at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel are sourced from the waters of the Barents Sea of Norway. The crabs are shipped live and housed live in "Water World," a collection of custom-made, 2,000-gallon salt water tanks at the hotel.
The 8-pound crab, steamed and served deconstructed with four sauces at the hotel’s Hakkasan restaurant, feeds up to five people and costs USD 600 (EUR 519). The hotel also serves a 5-pound Norwegian crab for USD 425 (EUR 368).
"Our guests love the crabs and are responding extremely well to this offering, especially when they found out we have them live and as fresh as can be,” Thomas Connell, the hotel's vice president of operations, culinary, told SeafoodSource. “Occasionally, when a guest is interested in the king crabs, we will actually take them down to Water World and allow them to pick out their own crab to be cooked in the restaurant of their choice.”
Connell, who declined to list the resort’s crab supplier and its wholesale price, said the red king crab is a great value since it is served to guests within minutes after it is pulled from the water.
The real reason for the massive crabs’ high price is that only 259 fishermen in Finnmark County, Norway, are licensed to capture the species, which is alloted a small annual quota in the region, according to SouthFlorida.com.
This is the fourth year that Fontainebleau Miami Beach has featured the crabs, part of its BleauFish Ocean to Table program. The live-catch seafood program features fishing operations specific to the resort, with around 500 pounds of fresh seafood arriving daily via a boat that fishes exclusively for the Fontainebleau. Much of the boat's seafood is transported live to the Water World tanks upon arrival.
The hotel’s owner, Jeffrey Soffer, created the program to “cut out the middle man and create a system that would allow us to offer our guests the freshest seafood,” Connell said. “This really takes freshness to a whole new level."