Perched alongside the waters edge of the Rose Bay in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs stands Catalina, a truly beautiful dining experience with stunning views of Sydney harbour. The open plan dining room blends fine dining with a relaxed harbour side bar vibe, always bustling with corporates and unique personalities – the ideal location for your weekly dose of “people watching” if you ask us! Remaining open from midday until late, Catalina more than happily accommodates those looking for an extended dining experience, or like us, those who ate and drunk a little too much at lunch and couldn’t quite bear the thought of moving just yet…
While waiting for your table we highly recommend perching on a bar table on the gorgeous balcony, taking in the sea breeze and indulging in a glass of champagne or fruity, summer cocktail. With views spanning across Sydney Harbour, Shark Island and the Eastern Suburbs shoreline, there is no better way to start your dining experience!
With a menu focused on fresh, local and high quality produce, Catalina is the perfect indulgence for an outstanding meal. Each plate presented before you is a piece of artwork, crafted to perfection in not only presentation but also taste. In keeping with the harborside location, seafood is a Catalina specialty. Their Oyster varieties (Natural with Eschalot and Red Wine Vinegar, Natural with Lime, Chilli and Tobiko, and Grilled with Lemon and Shallot Sabayon, Spicy Breadcrumbs – $4.5 each) are shucked to order, and their long standing relationships with Sydney’s leading suppliers ensures that only the best line-caught fish are served.
We begun our meal with two entrees we couldn’t recommend more highly – Pan Seared Sea Scallops, Tiger Prawn, Snapper Brandade, Leek Puree, Seaweed and Leek Crisps ($35) and Crispy Skin Pork Belly, Cauliflower Purée, Picked Baby Spring Onion and Dehydrated Apple ($32).
The sea scallops melted in the mouth with each bite, whilst the leek puree was the perfect light and fluffy accompaniment to compliment the dish. The crispy skin pork belly is a knock your socks off dish. It is the dish that you know you will order each and every time you eat at your favourite restaurant, no matter how many delicious new creations may have been added to the menu! The pork was soft and juicy, whilst the cracking was everything crackling should be – crunchy yet still bursting with flavour!
For the main course we decided on the Crispy Skin Cone Bay Barramundi with Spanner Crab Ravioli, Enoki Mushroom, Avruga, Sage and Escalot Cream ($51), and the Pan Roasted Lamb Rack and Rump, Chermoula Peas, Potato Gratin, Wild Rice and Thyme Jus ($49). Both meals were absolutely outstanding, and extremely substantial! Sporting a mild asian fusion, the Barramundi dish was a stand out. The barramundi was perfectly cooked, with crispy skin and fall apart in your mouth meat and the spanner crab was tender and buttery. Perfection!
A dining experience at Catalina cannot not be finished without an array of their delicious desserts! A selection ranging from Pavlova with LimeCurd, Strawberries and Strawberry Sorbet ($24), to Jiavara Milk Chocolate Mousse, Dark Chocolate Feuilletine and Chocolate Sorbet ($26), there will be something on the dessert menu to tickle your fancy no matter what mood your taste buds are in! We decided on the Dessert Selection to Share – A Selection of 5 Smaller Desserts – we highly recommend doing this to avoid order “FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out) on the other desserts! We could not pick our favourite from the plate if we tried! All of the flavours individually and together were truly a party for our tastebuds, and we were just wishing that it was socially acceptable to lick the plate!
Catalina is the quintessential Sydney harbourside dining experience. Encapsulating views of Sydney harbour alongside outstanding food and drinks, Catalina is certainly one of our favourites!