Last Sunday I was at Catalina for a belated family birthday. I had heard a few things about Catalina, so i was pretty excited to be able to check it out. If you are able to book well in advance and get an outside table, you will not be unhappy that you did. The views from their outdoor seating area are awesome; a view over Rose Bay looking back towards the city. Right beside the restaurant is Sydney harbour’s seaplane terminal; throughout the afternoon we were able to watch the seaplanes come in to land(sea) and take off.
Just after we were seated and given our menu’s a waiter delivered to the table some fresh baked sour dough bread. I forgot to get some pics of the bread, it was delicious with a slight sourness and came in handy later on in the meal but more on that later. With this meal being a celebration, we all got entrées mains and a desert.
Hand made tortellini of snapper and crab with fennel purée and sauce vierge $32 –
Soft, slightly chewy pasta with fish and crab filling, I found myself using every bit of each tortellini to get the last bit of the sauce. They were also quite large, about half the size of my hand.
Bufala mozzarella and heirloom tomato salad $25 –
Even with such a simple combination of ingredients this dish was surprising with the amount of flavour is had. The mozzarella was really smooth and not at all chewy while the tomatoes… ohh yeah, the tomatoes. These tomatoes were some of the tomato-y tasting tomatoes I have tasted. Imagine tomatoes infused with tomato essence and you will get an idea of how they tasted.
Seared sea scallops with sweet corn purée, morcilla and pancetta $33 –
Big scallops with something that resembles bacon? Sounds pretty good to me. And it was. The scallops were cooked perfectly with a golden exterior and a almost undercooked center. Having the different textures, the crispy pancetta and the soft scallops made this dish really fun to eat. I know some people are big on textures. :-). And for the educational part of this post, morcilla is a fancy way of saying black pudding.
Pan fried king prawns with chilli, garlic and herb butter $32 –
Split down the middle, these prawns had soak up lots of that delicious garlic and herb butter. Once the prawns were devoured, the remaining sauce/butter was sopped up with the complimentary sour dough bread. Everyone at the table was dipping bread in to the left over sauce.
Roasted baby chicken with vanilla carrot purée, heirloom carrots, peas and asparagus $42 –
Don’t let the name of this dish fool you. There was a lot of chicken on this plate. I have seen less chicken come out when the bird in question is considered full grown.
Pan roasted lamb rack with chive spaetzle, baby beetroots and Jerusalem artichoke crisps $46 –
The lamb had just a little bit to much fat on it for my liking, that being said i still eat all of it. I even used my hands, mush to the dismay of the family. Its a fancy place they said…
Cone Bay Hapuka with spanner crab parcel; sage and eschalot cream $46 –
This dish is usually served with salt water Barramundi but our waiter had informed us that, for the day, this dish would be made with Hapuka. Both fish have a similar flake and taste delicious. The bread came in hand again here too.
Riverine beef tenderloin with eschalot purée, sautéed nameko & morel mushrooms,
crisp onion rings & mustard seed jus $46 –
Look at those onion rings! Crispy and golden brown. They almost looked as if they were cooked tempura style. Underneath the steak there were some mushrooms which gave the dish a big hit of umami, making the steak taste that much better.
Dessert selection to share $50 –
From left to right:
Strawberry pavlova with lime curd and strawberry coulis
Classic lemon tart
White chocolate and raspberry cheesecake
Valrhona praline centred dark chocolate mousse, honeycomb and chocolate ice cream
Salted peanut praline and caramel parfait
The big stand outs on this plate were the lemon tart, the cheese cake and the raspberry sorbet that came with the Pavlova.
Catalina –Rose Bay, NSW 2029
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