Catalina, well known for its waterfront location and unobstructed harbour views of Rosebay, comes highly recommended.
Watch seaplanes take off and land from the water landing next door or feel calm seeing the yachts sail by, it’s really a relaxing place to spend an afternoon (or evening).
Whilst it is a one hatted fine dining restaurant with high prices, it does feel comfortable and not arrogant at all. Catalina is modern Australian restaurant with seafood inspired cuisine in an ala carte menu. We thought it was wonderful how they had a good amount of dishes and variety offered in each course to select from, as well as the option to swap a dessert out for starters if you preferred (and I did).
I began with the outstanding Sydney Rock Oysters sourced from the NSW coast, and shucked to order. Some of the best oysters I’ve tried, and I’ve tried a lot. We do suggest you order some of these to begin your meal with a glass of champers.
We’d also recommend a few cocktails at Catalina – they have a great cocktail list. They have super interesting flavours and presented beautifully. We tried the Mama Mia Margarita with chilli and mango tequilla, Cointreau, lime and a chilli salt rim.
We also loved the Australiano, a lemon Myrtle infused Maidenii Vermouth, rose petal campari topped with soda and also the Bloody Unfigettable – figs blended with bourbon, lemon, sugar and egg white with a bloody Shiraz gin float! We’d happily return for a few cocktails as the list is certainly extensive.
Our party of six opted for seafood dishes including the entree prawns, scallops and stunning West Australian Marron. For the mains, a lovely pan fried snapper, served with a potato and garlic mash, flavoured with lemon capers butter sauce. A generous portion too, as were the other dishes.
Another popular choice was the crispy skin saltwater barramundi with a few pieces of prawn tortellini, sage and eschallot cream, avruga, silverbeet and shellfish oil. Stunning in both taste and presentation.
Our favourite was the light dish, a Glacier 51 toothfish served with enoki mushroom in a clear dashi broth, with shiitake dumplings and daikon. Melt in your mouth fish and some of nicest dishes we’ve had in a while. Just keep in mind this has a $10 supplement. For those with dining requirements, this is a dairy free dish.
For those that aren’t into seafood, don’t let it worry you because they do have a wagyu tenderloin, rib eye, lamb rack or a roasted suckling pig. But when you’re at a seaside location, you really should be considering the seafood!
To finish off your meal, there’s an option of a number of appetising desserts. Whether it’s a white chocolate parfait, sticky date pudding or a dark chocolate mousse, or even a cheese plate, we’re sure you’ll find something to please. Our table pretty much ordered the same things: the fresh and classic lemon tart topped with fresh raspberries and a lemon Marscapone and the favourite amongst us – the apple Tarte Tatine, with creme Fraiche, and a cinnamon ice cream.
Finish off with a coffee and a plate of petit fours and the venue was kind enough to put a little happy birthday greeting on it for me.