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Modern Australian

Catalina – Rose Bay

 

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

www.catalinarosebay.com.au
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Asian, Japanese, Sushi

Asakusa

When I think of food in Newtown, Japanese food is not the first thing that springs to mind. Asakusa is on King Street just before you get the the Marly hotel. On the inside it had simple Japanese themed décor, the service was prompt and the food was great.

Spider Maki  – Soft shelled crab, deep-fried then rolled with avocado and cucumber. I never know how to eat the roll with the legs in it. I usually just go for one big bite. These ones, all were devoured in one bite.

Spice Tuna Rolls  –  These would have to be my favourite sushi of all. The Japanese mayo give these rolls some sweetness which is really well balanced by the sourness of the vinegar used in the sushi rice.

Goyza – Crisp on the outside,  moist and hot on the inside.

Mixed Tempura – I know how to get kids to eat their veggies. Just give them veggie tempura! I mean, it’s healthy right? These guys(carrots, beans, prawns and sweet potato)  had a crisp light batter coating with the underlying food still retaining most of their texture.

Sushi and Sashimi plate – Salmon, Tuna and Kingfish sushi and sashimi. Its hard to see but there were some Kingfish  sashimi on that plate.

Seaweed Salad – When we go out for sushi, seaweed salad is always ordered and always finished.

Edamame – No japanese meal would be complete without some edamame.

 

Asakusa was great for a quick bite to eat with friends. Nothing fancy, just good food for a reasonable price. With four people our bill came to around $60 with corkage.

Asakusa 119 King Street, Newtown

www.asakusa.com.au

 

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Modern Australian

3 Weeds Restaurant – Rozelle

 

3Weeds is a Sydney pub that has great atmosphere, delicious counter meals and a hatted restaurant. This time round we dined at the restaraunt which is run by Leigh McDivitt, who has worked at other places like Est., Bistro CBD and Lotus. The restaurant had more subdued lighting than the rest of the pub creating a more relaxed atmosphere, it almost seemed a world away from the busy pub just outside the door.

 

Kingfish sashimi with horseradish cream – The Kingfish was firm and fresh, the horse radish had some heat to it and Yuzu juice provided some tang.

Open squid ink lasagne $23 – This was my first time trying squid ink pasta, it was hard for me to discern what squid ink taste like as all the other element were so robust and strong. The scallop was juicy and just the right shade of caramel and had absorbed the flavours from the surrounding sauces.

Saltbush lamb loin and breast $38 – Rare lamb that had been seared on the outside. The jus was really clear and full of lamb flavours.

 

Beans with shallots and sliced almonds – For such a simple dish, these beans were a great accompaniment to our meal. The slivered almonds added to the crunchiness of just cooked beans.

Mashed Potatoes – Mashed potatoes always taste so freaking good when you dont have to see how much butter goes into them, these were no exception. Creamy, buttery and smooth.

Fish, scallop ravioli and black pudding. – Even though the Dory was the main element in this dish; the black pudding and ravioli when eaten with the fish gave a distinctly different taste to the fish. On its own the fish was moist and the skin was almost like pork crackling.

Pearl barley and sweet corn risotto $30 – Tasted amazing, really great balance of nuttyness from the barley and sweetness from the corn. For me this dish was my favourite from the night.

Merang and Sorbet with berreies $16 – This was very refreshing to the palate. The blood orange sorbet was sweet and tart while the merang and custard provided richness to the desert.

Desert – Hazelnut Souffle $18 – Joe and I have been on a Souffle kick at present, when ever there is one on the menu we order it. This particular one can with maple syrup and vanilla ice cream.

 

3Weeds Rozelle 

197 Evans Street Rozelle NSW 2039

 

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