Restaurant: Catalina | http://catalinarosebay.com.au/process/catalogue/itemView.html?itemId=16379&categoryId=1915Location: Lyne Park, Rose Bay, Sydney (There are plenty of parking there)
Cuisine: French, Italian, Spanish and Mediterranean
Rating: 6.5/10 – Splendid view but food was overpriced and a bit slow.
We celebrated Candice’s birthday at Catalina where it is famous for its waterview and luckily the weather was good that day (weather has been annoyingly unpredictable nowadays) and the view lived up to our expectations – it was beautiful, just like our birthday girl, Candice.
We ordered the Woodstock Sauvignon Blanc 2011 ($45) and enjoyed the picturesque view with wine and Catalina baked sourdough while waiting for the entrée which finally arrived after 20 minutes.
For entrée, we shared the crisp confit pork belly with seared sea scallops, cauliflower purée, shallots, port and pear jus ($34.10) and Sushi (small): tuna, salmon, prawn, kingfish, tataki tuna and Catalina roll ($40.70).
The pork belly satisfied our pickiness for crackling and the scallops were nicely cooked, however the cauliflower purée lacked a bit of flavour. The sushi was from the special sushi menu, and it’s ridiculously overpriced for 7 pieces of sushi! To be honest, the sushi was not THAT fresh given the price and there was too much wasabi inside the sushi which caused Candice and Jess to tear up. The pickled ginger was nice though..
We were contemplating whether to go outside to take pictures but we thought that the mains would arrive soon after the entrées so we decided not to. But we were wrong, the mains arrived approximately 25 minutes after and by that time, we were all starving!
Jess ordered the Pan fried snapper fillet with potato and garlic mash and lemon caper butter ($50.60), the lemon caper butter made the dish look very appealing along with the generous serving of potato mash. However, the snapper was a bit overcooked and therefore tough fortunately the butter sauce was delicious.
Cassie had the Crispy skin, olive oil poached salmon with braised baby cos, prosciutto and soft poached egg ($49.50). The skin was nicely crisped but the fish was just average. The prosciutto tasted weird, perhaps because it was too thin? It did not really match the salmon but it complements the typical poached egg.
Candice and I ordered the Pan fried John Dory with tarragon aioli, crushed kipfler potatoes, roast truss tomatoes and asparagus ($50.60). The John Dory was moist and the tarragon aioli was flavorsome. The roast truss tomatoes were sweet and acts as a nice acidity to the dish.
We ordered Spinach with lemon ($13.20) as a side. Again, for the price, this was a big disappointment because there was no flavour at all – we had to add our own salt.
From our entrée and main “waiting” experience, we knew that we have the time to take pictures at the outside bar area of Catalina. While Candice and Jess were outside, our waiter remembered that it was Candice’s birthday and informed us that “Happy Birthday Candice” was going to be written with chocolate on one of our dessert dish.
Strangely, the 3 desserts that we ordered did not come together. The Vanilla bean crème brûlée with apple arlette, pink lady purée ($22) came first with the Strawberry soufflé with strawberry sorbet, cream and fresh berries ($27.50).
The crème brûlée was not overly sweet, along with the apple arlette and purée made this dessert very luscious. The soufflé was light but packed with flavour, no wonder everyone in the restaurant was ordering it! The acidity of the sorbet made the dish very appetising.
After 5 minutes the Strawberry pavlova with lime curd and strawberry coulis ($22) with the chocolate written message was served. It was perfectly cooked – crispy outside but soft inside. The sorbet was the same as the soufflé dish, but I don’t recall having any lime curd…
To sum up our lunch experience, the food was average yet overpriced and the waiting time was way too long, even the bill took 10 minutes to get to our table! The total bill was $405.8 ($101.45 per person). However, these flaws can be compensated by the stunning waterview.