Catalina is one of Australia's great destination restaurants situated on a landmark Rose Bay site on Sydney Harbour's eastern foreshore. The restaurant was designed as a homage to the beauty of Sydney Harbour. Diners have a panoramic view of Sydney Harbour at water-level, punctuated only by the comings and goings of a working harbour: ferries, water taxis, fishing and sailing boats, and incoming sea planes based in front of the restaurant.
Experienced restaurateurs Michael and Judy McMahon opened Catalina in 1994 with a simple goal: to be Sydney's favourite place to eat the best by the water. They are joined by their daughter Kate as Floor Manager who keeps a well-honed eye on all aspects of the restaurant's operations: the food, wine, service and ambience.
Catalina's kitchen remains open continuously from midday to late in the evening. Diners are welcome to dine all day on Mark Axisa's fresh, authentic menus, inspired by the classics - French, Italian, Spanish and Mediterranean. Seafood is a Catalina specialty: oysters are shucked to order; salmon is cured and smoked in-house; and long-standing relationships with Sydney's leading suppliers provide the restaurant with the best line-caught fish. Meat eaters are also well catered for.
1 Hat, SMH Good Food Guide
1 Star, Gourmet Traveller Australian Restaurant Guide, and rated in Top 100 restaurants in Australia
3 goblets, Australian Wine List of the Year Awards
Reviews of Catalina Restaurant
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I was lucky enough to be taken here for my birthday dinner. Its a good idea to book in advance as it gets busy for both lunch and dinner. The Tooth Fish was superb and tasted like the arctic as promised. There are views across Rosebay which compliment the modern sleek white decor. Service was very professional and the waitstaff were obviously very familiar with the menu.
We went for my son's graduation last year and the food was fantastic. The salted duck egg yolk was the most memorable dish for me and my family and I still talk about this dish in detail. I would highly recommend it.
I love the food and ambiance, but I do wonder whether Catalina should start thinking about some positive changes. Been coming here for a number of years, and the location, view etc. is fantastic. Book in advance for special occasions though.
With such a great location, i can't understand why most of the dinners spent more time watching the other patrons than the view from the window. It must be an eastern suburbs thing. Food was great, but is that what some of the dinners are there for?
It could not get better, if your got a black card then add it to your hit list for lunch and everything else. If your means are more modest then save it for a special lunch or dinner. The view and the service are all on point and the food and wine list make it one of my Sydney top tens.
Situated in a pole position beside the moored boats at Rose Bay, Catalina is stunning, both the food and the experience. The McMahon family have occupied this little piece of heaven for the last 16 years. Catalina is an upscale cafeteria. The staff at Catalina are a delight to deal with.
They do everything from sushi and sashimi to Italian and French contemporary inspired dishes, such as the roasted suckling pig with quince aioli and the twice cooked crisp skin baby chicken with soy aioli, cucumber, shallot and chilli salad. The honeycomb desert (honeycomb parfait with chocolate brownie and caramel) is to die for.
The restaurant is very spacious and the panoramic views are breathtaking. The sea planes landing majestically as you devour your divine cuisine is all part of the Catalina charm. I live in Rose Bay so the fact that its my local is very handy! Not a cheap outing, but its most certainly worth it.