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“Sensational - MUST try the Champagne Jelly with Raspberry Ice-cream”

Catalina Restaurant
Ranked #1 of 53 Restaurants in Rose Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $35 - $55
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Seafood, Australian, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Situated on the shores of Sydney Harbour on Rose Bay, Catalina is a beautiful, airy light-filled restaurant and bar with floor to ceiling glass sliding doors opening out onto a long curved balcony over the water. In keeping with its harbourside location, the menu features beautifully fresh seafood - Sydney Rock oysters shucked to order; house smoked Tasmanian salmon; whole snapper and barramundi, filleted on the premises - but also a wide range of the best meat and poultry Australia has to offer. A fabulous Australian and global wine list (over 600 wines) and welcoming, attentive service, make this restaurant a must-do Sydney dining experience. Come in all day for the full menu - Catalina doesn't close between lunch and dinner - or graze on bar food overlooking the most beautiful harbour in the world.
Reviewed July 8, 2014

Well I am not a real fan of jelly but definitely of champagne so this dessert definitely was an absolute WINNER!!! It was gorgeous to look at and even more divine to eat with fresh raspberries and dried strawberries which were amazing!!! Although a tad over priced..I am going back to have it all over again!!! I just wish I took a picture!!

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Thank SamCranny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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734 - 738 of 960 reviews

Reviewed July 1, 2014

Nursing a crushing hangover, I got on a privately hired taxi to take me, some work colleagues and some local big-wigs to Catalina's, via a look at some of the most expensive real-estate in Sydney. It's ugly !
Anyway, the restaurant is a lovely open room overlooking the water with an upmarket clientele, sipping fine chilled wines, enjoying life and eating very very well. This is expensive, refined cooking and I'm glad I wasn't paying.
We shared an assortment of oysters: some natural, some with fussy bits of stufff and some tempura'd All were great.
I had a small plate of sashimi to start, hoping to banish my debilitating hangover & throbbing head, and it was extremely fresh. For mains, I had a baramundi fillet which was to die for, (which is what I felt was happening to me) really refined, quality cooking. My party all had a selection of fine wines, which I tried and eventually I had to have a word with myself to "man-up" and deal with my hangover. Eventually I felt better, confident of getting back on the water taxi without any embarassing accidents. I'm sure the amazing food helped.

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Thank Pete G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2014

As a regular at Catalina, you come to know what to expect. The food is typically gorgeous, well presented, and the wine list is impressive (fancy a glass of wine for $40, or a bottle for $6,500?)

You get a mixed experience at Catalina - some of the staff are approachable, friendly and genuine, and others act with an air of superiority. Service styles for all sorts, I imagine. Catalina are super prompt with any email correspondence, and very accommodating with any special request. Like most restaurants, they do 2 sittings, with the early sitting around 6pm, and the later one at around 8.15pm. I usually prefer the later sitting so you can take your time, however if you do need to be in and out in 2 hours, they can you have you in and out with time to spare.

Most recently we dined there as we are members of the birthday club - if you are not listed, I would sign up, as you are given a great meal offer in your birthday month.

There is a great selection of seafood options on the menu - which is extremely extensive. In addition to the standard menu, they had 3 daily specials for entree, main and dessert, as well as the sushi and sashimi menu (available Wednesday – Sunday). For us, it took us a good 20 minutes to pour over the menu to try and decide! I would recommend asking the sommelier for some advice, as the wine list provides a good selection of overseas wines, and it gives you the opportunity to try a wine you wouldn't normally see in other restaurants.

Whilst we were weighing up options, we were quite literally smothered in service - depending on your style, this is either a good or bad thing. We were in no hurry, so it was with amusement that we noticed this (there were 4 separate staff who had approached us to offer drinks or take our meal order). They were friendly though, and weren't fussed that we needed more time.

We chose for entree the Crispy skin pork belly, honey glazed parsnips, lentils, parsley oil and red wine jus and the Char grilled quail salad, roast hazelnuts, orange, pickled golden beetroot and witlof; caramelised palm sugar balsamic dressing. Both meals were beautifully presented, and the servings were extremely generous for an entree.

I had the quail, and after the meal felt quite full! The combination of the crunch of the hazelnuts with the citrus of the orange and stand out pickled beetroot (my favourite) was gorgeous, and really satisfying. It was beautifully balanced, and could have been sufficient as a main meal in itself.

For mains, we ordered the Fettuccine nero with lobster, tomatoes and chilli infused lobster oil, and one of the daily specials of Ling. If you are a lobster fan, you can't go past the Fettucine nero. Again the portions of lobster in this dish was extremely generous, and it complimented the chilli oil and squid ink fettucine beautifully (highly recommend this dish). The ling was again a very generous size piece, and cooked beautifully - firm, with a tofu consistency. It was accompanied by slow roasted tomatoes, some tortellini parcels (gorgeous) with a broth poured over it. It was a lighter style meal, however quite substantial, and really satisfying. We ordered the green beans with almonds as an accompaniment, and I love it when beans come out crunchy and not overcooked - so for me, they were perfect!

The dessert selections were also wonderful - we couldn't decide between the Champagne Jelly or the daily special of the raspberry pavlova, so instead ordered the dessert selection to share (a selection of 5 smaller desserts). Again, the servings were so generous, and we enjoyed sampling the following deserts, and ate them in the following order:
1. Banana and salted peanut butter parfait with caramel sauce (was lovely - though not our favourite)
2. Orange almond torte with sheeps milk labna and orange butter sauce (has the consistency of a friand.)
3. Caramelised fig with bitter caramel mousse, brik pastry and sugared pistachio (an absolute favourite of mine!!!)
4. Classic lemon tart with mascarpone (if you love a "tart" lemon tart, then this is silky and tangy!)
5. Valrhona milk chocolate mousse, dark chocolate feuilletine and chocolate sorbet (the chocolate sorbet is to die for! A very rich dessert and would recommend you eat this last on the place)

The 2013 Punt Road Botrytis Semillon was a perfect accompaniment to this dessert selection.

Overall it was a lovely evening. The restaurant was nearly full, and the service as already mentioned was overly attentive. The meals were served very promptly, so I would recommend that if you wanted to "go slow" to make it known to the staff otherwise you could feel a bit pressured.

When booking a table, the ones by the window are fantastic in winter, and even though the night was busy with some groups, we still enjoyed a lovely evening.

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Thank klsmall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2014

Catalina is still my favourite Sydney restaurant. Whilst I have been disappointed a couple times, I have had dozens of spectacular lunch/dinners there! This is fine dining so prices are high but the quality of the food and the flavours are too. Expect the best! Great for a romantic date or special occasion, but also appropriate for business and/or family occasions. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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Thank Luv2Travel_Syd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2014

We had dinner here for friend's birthday, ten of us in total. We chose the Winter Special menu which had been advertised as the full menu but was actually a very basic choice of pork terrine or poached egg with asparagus (starter), main was either pumpkin slop or fish pie. None of which was anything special, which for $50 per head you could argue is fair enough but consider alternative restaurants with far better food at this price and we all felt a bit flat about it. By the way if you want to experience a real fish pie make sure you visit Brown Sugar in Bondi. That's a real fish pie.

The food alone wouldn't have been enough to inspire me to write this review as i know it is capable of far better but topped with the service we received we couldn't help but feel like we'd received the 'cheap seat' treatment. The wine waiter couldn't bring himself to smile once and had a general air of superiority - for the record, we're all professionals aged 25-35 and dressed smartly having come straight from work.

Have heard a lot of great things about Catalina and I know it can do better, I just don't know why they let themselves slip on basic hospitality, value and cooking last night.

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1  Thank Bondiscot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Judy M, Owner at Catalina Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2014

Thank you for your feedback regarding your dining experience at Catalina.

I was shocked to read that you did not enjoy the options for our winter special. We have been receiving such wonderful feedback for the past two weeks it has been running. The choice of 2 entrees, though simple, are made with care and premium produce, to ensure that they are still to Catalina standard, despite being on a 'winter special' and therefore at a reduced price.
Our risotto, which is listed on our daily specials, is usually described as 'delicious' rather than 'slop', so I can only think that perhaps there was an issue with your specific serving that evening. With the fish pie, similarly we use the same fish as on our a la carte menu, the puff pastry is made in house by our pastry chef. The fish pie is also featured on our daily specials, again a dish that we have received great feedback about, so I am very surprised that you did not enjoy this as well.

Although I am very sorry to hear that you did not enjoy dining on the 'winter special' I do feel that we, at Catalina, make our terms and conditions and our 'special' menu easily accessible on our website as well as when the booking is made.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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