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$600 'prehistoric' king crab, anyone? Get it now at Fontainebleau Miami Beach | Video

For those who like to splurge into the deep — in the sea and their wallets — have we got a deal for you. Just $600 will buy you and your feeding crew a rare delicacy: an 8-pound Norwegian red king crab.

The Fontainebleau resort in Miami Beach has received a small, annual allotment of the live crabs, dubbed “prehistoric luxury shellfish” by the resort’s PR agency. Caught from the icy waters of the Barents Sea off Norway’s northern coast, the crabs that arrived this week weigh 5 to 8 pounds and can feed up to five people.

The 8-pound crab, steamed and served deconstructed with four sauces at Hakkasan restaurant, costs $600. The 5-pound crab is a relative bargain at $425.

The shipment of live crabs and langoustines (jumbo European prawns in shells that resemble lobster) are kept in special “Waterworld” tanks of seawater in the resort’s basement. The shellfish will be offered at the resort’s three marquee restaurants — Hakkasan, Stripsteak and Scarpetta — until they run out, likely by weekend’s end.

Each restaurant will offer crab a distinct way, with some dishes at more affordable prices. Hakkasan, an upscale Asian fusion restaurant, will serve whole steamed crab ($600 or $425) and also langoustines with coconut sauce or grilled with garlic butter ($16 per langoustine, minimum two per order).

Stripsteak, a modern American steakhouse overseen by celebrity chef Michael Mina, will offer langoustine a la Normande ($65), a king crab cocktail ($28) and king crab oscar topping for steaks ($22 supplement). Scarpetta, an Italian restaurant overseen by celebrity chef Scott Conant, will offer langoustine risotto ($39), and Norwegian king crab will be available in salad or pasta (price pending).

The Norwegian government tightly regulates its crab market, which accounts for the high price. Only 259 fishermen in Finnmark County, Norway, are licensed to capture red king crabs, which can get up to 15 pounds, with an annual limit set (2,350 metric tons in 2017) so as to keep them sustainable.

Each crab is tagged and can be tracked once it is approved for sale. According to the Norway King Crab website, “crabs are gently caught in pots and transported alive to our tank facilities, where they are checked and sorted according to quality and size … Crabs are kept in tanks for a few days to be acclimatized and then prepared for shipment. The live crabs are then sent by plane from northern Norway to the customers, or to our tank facility in Oslo for temporary storage and further shipment. This model makes it possible for us to deliver live crabs all over the world.”

The Fontainebleau resort is located at 4441 Collins Ave., in Miami Beach, with reservations for crab available at Hakkasan, 786-276-1388; Scarpetta, 305-674-4660; and Stripsteak, 305-674-4780.

mmayo@southflorida.com, 954-356-4508. Follow my food adventures on Instagram: @mikemayoeats. Sign up for my weekly dining newsletter at SouthFlorida.com/EatBeatMail.

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