At $380 per person with an average duration of 20 minutes, the omakase meal at Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo (the subject of the acclaimed documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi) is among the shortest and most expensive meals you can get in the world—further proof that when it comes to living the high-life, seafood reigns supreme.
From gorgeous plateau de fruits de mer stacked with glimmering bivalves and crab lags, to uni collected off the Santa Barbara coast, seafood has long been the premiere status symbol in the culinary world, encouraging flashy diners around the globe to fork over boatloads of dough.
Despite the fact that seafood prices are on the rise (and some species are drastically overfished), demand for premium aquatic products prevail. Just ask Kiyoshi Kimura, who dropped over one million dollars…on a slab of tuna.
Here, we gawk at 10 uber-luxe dishes from around the world that reflect seafood at its splashiest.
Why it’s so expensive: The king of the sushi game, Kiyoshi Kimura, currently holds the record for the most amount of money spent on a bluefin tuna—buying it at a hefty $1.76 million dollars in 2013. The fish can be eaten at specialty restaurants scattered throughout Japan. Bluefin tuna is the most expensive grade of the fish, although that won’t likely stop the Japanese from eating it (even with supplies down, the country’s population is reported to consume more than half of the world’s bluefin supply).
‘The Buddah Jumps Over the Wall’ Fish Soup
Cost: £108 ($169.86)
Where it came from: Kai Mayfair
Why it’s so expensive During cold, rainy days, Londoners can indulge in the world’s most expensive fish soup. Kai Mayfair in London, England, has crafted a dish with all the best treasures the ocean has to offer: abalone, Japanese flower mushroom, sea cucumber, dried scallops, and, if you’re lucky, even shark fin. But a dish as over-the-top as this takes time. Be sure to let the restaurant know at least five days in advance that you’re interested in reserving a bowl. (Photo: WikiCommons)
Cost: £16,000 ($25,162.88)
Where it came from: The Caviar House & Prunier
Why it’s so expensive: Caviar has long been the king of bourgeoisie foods, but The Caviar House & Prunier in the U.K. has really upped the stakes. For $25,000, patrons can enjoy the best fish eggs Iran has to offer, served in a tin made of 24-karat gold. The Caviar House & Prunier is the only restaurant in the world that offers Almas Caviar. (Luckily, they allow patrons to keep the tin as a souvenir.) (Photo: Facebook/CaviarHouse)
Samundari Khazana Curry
5. Samundari Khazana Kari – USD 3200 (Rp 38juta). Isi: kepiting devon, kaviar beluga, daun emas, jamur truffle. pic.twitter.com/vUPhQrPQsp
— Vocuz Evolute (@vocuzevolute) April 12, 2014
Cost: £2000 ($3,200)
Where it came from: Bombay Brasserie
Why it’s so expensive: ‘Samundari Khazana’ or ‘seafood treasure’ makes for one helluva curry night. This London specialty contains Devon crab, white truffle, Beluga caviar, and a Scottish lobster coated in edible gold. If that didn’t get your mouth watering, maybe the additional four abalones, four quail eggs, and caviar will. Head chef Prahlad Hedge created this dish as an ode to the wildly successful movie Slumdog Millionaire back in 2009. He told The Sun, “There are still people out there with money to spend and this curry is a real experience.”
Coffin Bay King Oysters
Why it’s so expensive: If you’re wanting to step up your oyster game, look no further than Coffin Bay, Australia. The bivalves harvested there measure 18cm long and can weigh up to 1kg, making them the largest in the world. They are traditionally served raw with a slice of lemon. For $100 a piece, you’ll gain bragging rights over your friends who just dropped a Benjamin on their last phone bill. (Photo: Facebook/Pure Coffin)
Why it’s so expensive: While Europe and Asia have dominated the exotic fish market, the United States has its own delicious diamond in the rough: baby eels. Now considered to be an endangered species in many parts of the world, baby eels are available to be captured and enjoyed in coastal cities such as Maine and Portland. As a result, the price of these sea snakes has increased dramatically, making them an even more coveted item. (Photo: Yelp/Stephen J.)
Where it came from: Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien Hotel
Why it’s so expensive: The frittata is a seemingly simple dish, but Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien Hotel in New York City transformed the entree into the $1,000 monster that has only been sampled 12 times. This luxe plate combines six eggs, lobster claws, and 10 ounces of Sevruga caviar, earning it the nickname “The Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata.” If you’re not up for dropping a grand on your breakfast, the hotel offers a slightly more popular, scaled-down version for $100. (Photo: Yelp/Nella P.)
Cost: about $20/pound
Where it came from: Aquabest NYC
Why it’s so expensive: This rare crustacean has been nicknamed the “Rolls Royce of Lobsters” in the culinary scene. It hails from the small village of Fourchu on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia and has developed a loyal fan base. Gothamist reports that Dorothy Cann Hamilton, founder of the International Culinary Center, says they are “without question, the very best lobsters in the world.” Although, if you’re looking to try the “Kobe Beef of Lobsters,” you will have to plan in advance—Fourchu lobster’s are available only for 10 weeks out of the year (May-July) and sell out quickly. (Photo: Yelp/City Crab & Seafood Company)
Cost: $12,000 AU ($9,484 USD)
Where it came from: The Lord Dudley Hotel
Why it’s so expensive: Australian chef Paul Medcalf crafted the world’s most expensive pie to celebrate Groupon’s milestone achievement of selling two million food vouchers in Australia. The “Posh Pie” plays off the surf-and-turf concept and contains premium beef cuts, two Western Australian rock lobsters, and Winter Black truffles. It’s finished with 23-karat German gold leaf and comes with two bottles of Penfolds Grange Reserve.”
Puffer Fish (Fugu)
Why it’s so expensive: Puffer fish, or fugu as it’s known in Japan, is the ultimate delicacy for thrill-seekers. A drop of puffer fish poison is enough to kill an adult human, so chefs must undergo special training to learn how to properly prepare it. In this case, spending the extra cash will reap major benefits to both your palate and your safety. (Photo: Yelp/Amanda L.)