Catalina is a family business that run a beautifully located one chef hat restaurant on the site of Rose Bay. Opened since 1994, Catalina’s menu is inspired by French, Italian, Spanish and Mediterranean cuisines and also provide an extensive wine list that has won 3 goblets at the Australian Wine List of the Year Awards 2013. Located within close walking distance from the Rose Bay ferry wharf, diners can find themselves arriving at Catalina in more ways than one. For a special night, diners may arrive by seaplane or by ferry which in many ways reflects Catalina’s amazing panoramic view of the Sydney water-scape. We dined here for Valentines Day for a 5:30pm reservation, this was our experience:
View from our table…
Crispy skin pork belly with apple remoulade, baby vegetables, smoked celeriac puree and port wine jus
Jessica: Crackling was perfectly cripsy and had an amazing crunch! Pork was tender and so soft. My favourite element of the dish was the wine jus, tasted amazing and worked so well with the pork. Apple was cooked well and added a needed sweetness to the dish. The puree was nice, a bit too smoked for my liking but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. 8/10
Pan seared sea scallops with lemon emulsion, chorizo, cuttlefish and piquillo pepper coulis
Jimmy: Catalina is known for it’s beautiful seafood, so what better way to start the night with the pan seared sea scallops. Visually stunning with the vibrancy coming from the colour of the seared scallops and the cuttlefish and piquillo peppers. Scallops were cooked well, tender and not dry at all. The chorizo combination gave it a real boost of flavour with the lemon and emulsion and pepper coulis binding the dish well but flavouring could have been a little stronger. The cuttlefish was interesting and something I was not expecting at all, which gave the dish a little something. 7.5/10
Smoked duck breast with confit duck Maryland, rhubarb tart and sauteed kale
Jessica: Smoked duck breast was cooked very well, I loved the salty skin on it! The confit duck was okay, it was a little too bland for me. To my surprise I really enjoyed the sauteed kale! I felt like it went so well with the duck. The rhubarb tart was delicious, I loved the pastry. It was nice and crumbly and perfect amount of flavour. Now.. although most elements of this dish was cooked well, I honestly did not fancy the flavour combination of the rhubarb tart with the duck. The pastry of the tart just didn’t go well with the duck. I think if they had taken away the pastry and just left the rhubarb there then it may have paired better together. If I were to rate the smoked duck, confit duck and the sauteed kale as a separate dish from the rhubarb tart, then I would give them a 7.5/10 each. However, for the dish as a whole.. a 6.5/10.
Herb crusted lamb loin with carrot puree, sauteed kipfler potato and zucchini
Jimmy: The presentation was sophisticated and highlighted the lamb loin in a wonderful light. The herb crust was packed with flavour and crunchy in texture. The lamb was cooked well, however not consistent which made it difficult to cut on some occasions. The carrot puree was beautiful and the kipfler potatoes were nice, personally I would have liked them more softer! The complimentary sides of the chips and salad were indeed a nice touch, and well needed to accompany the lamb loin. 6.5/10
Complimentary sides: Chips and Garden Salad
Banana and salted peanut butter parfait with caramel sauce
Jessica: The dish tasted exactly like what it was described as in the menu. All you peanut butter fans out there would love this dessert!! Peanut butter parfait was delicious. Banana and peanut butter pair sooooo nicely together and the sauce made it a little more special. Loved the combination of flavours! The only thing missing that would’ve made the dish complete was a little more texture, would’ve loved to hear a crunch in the base of the parfait. Favourite dish of the night. 8/10
Champagne jelly with fresh raspberries and pomegranate; raspberry ripple ice cream
Jimmy: BAM dessert time and what better way to finish with a little bit of raspberry and ice cream. For those that do not enjoy the taste of champagne, the jelly is probably not for you, as it really is dry and the palette and has a strong aroma in it’s flavour. The raspberry ripple ice cream was a great contrast in temperature and I really wished there could have been more. Speaking of more, the pomegranate syrup was probably the best part of the dessert. Amazing flavour and I would have had a paid extra to have more! The base of the dessert was very interesting and one way that I could describe it would be that of Uncle Toby’s roll-ups. Overall the dessert was full of flavour and I enjoyed thoroughly, however the balancing of elements were the only problems I had with the dessert, besides that it was fun to dig into this. 6.5/10
Jessica: Although the main was a bit of a let down.. Catalina is still one of my top 3 fine dining restaurants! Their staff are professional, attentive and most of them are friendly. We had an outdoor seating and the breeze outside was coming off a little strong.. the hostess was so kind to leave a scarf with me for when I did get cold! A gesture like that just shows that they actually care and they would do that extra bit more than just guide you to your table or serve you your dishes. I also love the fact that it is a family run business, you definitely feel warm and cozy and very welcome from the moment you walk in. I always recommend Catalina to my friends.. and I would still recommend it now, but maybe choose a different main from what I had.
Jimmy: Having previously taken Jessica here a very long time ago, it really became an instant favourite of ours. The view we have on the balcony table is stunning and peaceful. There’s no question that Catalina’s service is top notch from the last time we were here and with our most recent visit. It is a family business and you feel like you’re served with great care. Catalina is one of those places that couples can enjoy for any special occasion. The food is fresh in it’s produce and plated beautifully. Really do recommend Catalina, maybe we’ll try the seaplane next time we dine.
View from Rose Bay Ferry Wharf
Restaurant Trading Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 12 noon til midnight. (Restaurant remains open all afternoon. They do not close between lunch and dinner)
Sunday lunch: 12 noon til 6:00 pm (Closed Sunday dinner)