This is one of those very easy blogs to write…it’s hard not to fall in love with Australia; known for its stunning water views, fresh produce and relaxed beach lifestyle, so as our private water taxi whisked us across Sydney Harbour, past the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Ell questioned “Why haven’t I done this before?”, contemplating our numerous trips ‘down-under’ to visit friends and family. We were heading to Catalina restaurant in Rose Bay.
Whilst the harbour was a bit choppy and we giggled from the spray as we tried to take photos without being tossed into the sea as we zipped past various marinas heading to our destination, “Why indeed” Ell wondered again as we slowed, past a handful of private yachts, to a private jetty near the glass expanse of the restaurant. And, once more, he contemplated the very same as he entered the restaurant full of beautiful people who looked like the cast of any of the Real Housewives TV shows. “This is why we paid for excess luggage…” he commented out loud as he straightened his Hermes belt “…we needed to show off our European wardrobe!”
Catalina is a beautiful restaurant with a beautiful view full of beautiful people eating beautiful food. Perched on the edge of Sydney Harbour in the eastern suburbs, we were privileged to have a window table overlooking one of the most stunning views on the planet, and as ‘out-of-towners’ we were lucky that the weather was perfect although, perhaps, a little too warm as the glass veranda doors were closed tight to allow the aircon to take full effect.
But enough about the beauty; Catalina is, after all, a dining establishment with an award winning modern Australian menu, offering a selection of locally sourced produce that covers all tastes – from Sydney rock oysters through to Australian Grasslands beef tenderloins. Ell’s starter of house smoked salmon, salmon mousse, roe with horseradish crème fraîche and a salted egg yolk on brioche toast was the star of the meal. A Catalina signature dish, it was head & shoulders above the other starters, although that’s not to say the others weren’t also delicious. Other dishes shown were the pan seared sea scallops, sautéed squid with chargrilled sweetcorn, chipotle and Romesco crumb and a lovely langoustine broth.
For mains, both Ell and Drew opted for the roast Junee lamb with summer vegetables, garlic cream and French onion jus. Tender and delicious, the photo speaks for itself! The duck with a caramelised onion tart was also fantastic.
For dessert our table shared Catalina’s dessert selection – which was just enough to provide a sweet treat at the end of a heavy meal.
Yes, Catalina comes with a price tag, but for a European it’s not very often one gets to sit looking across Sydney Harbour, so add to that the top tier food, buzzy atmosphere, a great wine list and fantastic staff…well it was worth every penny. Would Elldrew go back? Hell yeah, and we’d take a private water taxi again too; the land-based journey home in an Uber just wasn’t the same.
Lyne Park, Rose Bay, NSW 2029
Read more restaurants reviews