Auckland supplies of an imported seafood delicacy have run out.
Simon Gault, who owns the Jervois Steak House in Ponsonby and the Viaduct restaurant Euro, said stocks of Alaskan red king crab - subject of the television series The Deadliest Catch - ran out two weeks ago.
"We import the crab directly from Alaska so we're out of stock and we're waiting for another shipment to come in," he said.
"There was one other importer and they did have some stock but that, I gather, has been depleted as well."
The crabs have a strong place on the New Zealand market because there is no equivalent.
"You can get king crab in New Zealand but it's very, very small and the amount of meat in it is barely worth bothering with.
"When you want to serve a whole leg it's just no good - you'd laugh at us if we served it to you.
"We bought a container of it on the first shipment ... and we've probably used that in about eight or nine months ... that's a lot of crab, probably about $400,000 worth of crab.
"It's very expensive. Alaskan red king crab is one of the best crabs in the world - it's absolutely beautiful. The crab that we get in New Zealand is just different, we've got different varieties."
Mr Gault said it was a "very popular" item on the menu.
"If you go to a steak house in America, Alaskan king crab is one of the things that you'll always find on the menu so we thought it was appropriate when we did a steak house that you put Alaskan crab on.
"It was a big expense to import a big container of it, it was a big risk. But it's paid off."
The crab sells at Jervois Steak House at $26 for a 200g entree, and $80 for a 600g main.
A staff member at the restaurant said yesterday that more stocks were "hopefully" arriving within four to six weeks.
Auckland FishMart owner Cam Hadlow, who sells the crab in 1kg pre-cut bags, also said the meat was popular.
"They've got bits of the shell shaved off so that you can get at the meat quite easily - that's a much more economical way of bringing it in and that's where the tastiest meat is, in the legs."
Mr Hadlow said the crab had a similar texture to crayfish but was a little bit sweeter.
"I'm not sure if we've got any right as we speak or not but certainly we had it as recently as last week.
"I know we've got more on order, my buyer was talking to me on Wednesday ... there's certainly more on its way if we've run out."