Catalina

Lyne Park, Rose Bay

www.catalinarosebay.com.au

I felt a little guilty coming here. I think I was the only person dining who was not with an expense account and since I’m only in occasional employment, my financial affairs should be under supervision, just like Britney’s….

However in my defence, I did need a decent meal after having walked around the South Beach Headland, down through Watsons Bay and along the coast to Rose Bay (recommended – very picturesque with fine views from various beaches towards the CBD skyline). I was also wondering if the 3 hat Pier restaurant was open…..

So three courses for $70 from a set lunch menu with matching wines in a setting as beautiful as this was an easy decision to make. It’s a sleek place (with apparently a bit of an attitude), but they didn’t mind so much my casual walking attire and because it was a little windy it was possible to get a table outside.

 

sweet...

sweet...

The view is certainly majestic, even better with a glass of wine and no pressing deadlines to meet. You look out into the harbour and are sat next to a seaplane port; so for the really upwardly-mobile it’s a simple flight back to the beach-house in Palm Beach.

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All this made the amuse-bouche a little more bearable. This was perhaps one of the most uninspiring things I’ve put in my mouth – a fraction of omelet with a smidgen of red onion & crème-fraiche. It neither whetted my appetite nor awakened the senses. It at least served to dampen expectations for the rest of a good meal.

 

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Next up was sautéed cuttlefish with zucchini & cucumber salad. This helped things get going. Nice, light & lemony. The cuttlefish’s nodules (suckers?) had a good burnt tinge which provided contrast with the rest of the tentacle. It was a salad for people who don’t like salad. So it suited me.

 

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My main course was pan-fried bream fillets with roasted fennel and a pepper & almond salsa. After the shock realization that I was having an Atkins meal, I settled down and enjoyed this dish. The fillets were sweet and well cooked, well complimented by the roasted vegetables and nuttiness of the almonds. It went  well with a glass of Scarborough Chardonnay. Coupled with the view and beaming sunshine it was hard not to be seduced. There are worse places to spend a Friday afternoon.

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I’m not a dessert person, but the Millefeuille of strawberries & cream was irresistible. A nice, simple pudding with decent flavourful strawberries, with vanilla cream and good crisp, crumbly pastry. It couldn’t really be faulted and did not last long. It was a fine end to the lunch and made the amuse-bouche a distant memory.

Summing up this is a superior restaurant, which is elevated to a high level by the setting. The cooking is clearly good and you certainly pay for it with mains around $45 mark. Nevertheless I’d be keen to come back here during summer, when it’ll probably be a little trickier to get an outside table.

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