Catalina, Rose Bay

Crispy duck with orange marmalade $48

Crispy duck with orange marmalade $48

A delicious life of good food and music

To accompany this blog post, I have chosen SailingΒ composed by Christopher Cross, legendary American songwriter who won 5 Grammy Awards with his self-titled debut album, in 1979.

Click the video below to listen to this music as you read about the food of this iconic Sydney restaurant.


Catalina, Rose Bay

Sea plane at Rose Bay

Sea plane at Rose Bay

There’s no better place to be on a clear sunny day than Catalina, a quintessentially Sydney experience with its bay side location and floating seaplanes gliding on the sparkling waters.

Dining room, Catalina (

Dining room, Catalina (

You can be equally comfortable having an indulgent three course soiree in the expansive dining room or a light sushi lunch our by the balcony overlooking beautiful Rose Bay and the Sydney harbour.

It’s not surprising how Catalina has stayed its course for the last 17 years, with its winning formula of sun, surf and seafood.

Freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters with eschalot and red wine vinegar $4 each (minimum order six)

Freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters with eschalot and red wine vinegar $4 each (minimum order six)

Freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters with a squeeze of lemon and a glass of chilled champagne is the perfect way to start.

At Catalina, there are different ways to experience these fresh mollusks – with red vinegar and eshalots, Rockefeller or tempura with seaweed – and they make their appearance on almost every table. Shucked to order, they are so fresh, you can literally taste the sea.

Catalan style whitebait with fried duck egg and lemon $23

Catalan style whitebait with fried duck egg and lemon $23

If oysters aren’t your thing, then there’s Catalina’s signature Catalan style whitebait with fried duck egg.

You break the runny egg, mix it up to coat the crispy whitebait, lift it with a squeeze of lemon and it’s sunshine on your lips.

Seaplane at Catalina (

Seaplane at Catalina (

As you wait for your main course, the waves lap up against the shore, the pelicans land gently on the balcony – a view you never get tired of. Another sip of champagne, and you can wash away the stresses of life for a while.

Pan fried barramundi with spanner crab parcel and sage cream $46

Pan fried barramundi with spanner crab parcel and sage cream $46

We order the pan fried barramundi with spanner crab parcel and sage cream. The fish arrives with a crown of fried leeks and is well cooked but the spanner crab parcel is a little soggy from sitting on top of the rich sauce.

Crispy duck with orange marmalade $48

Crispy duck with orange marmalade $48

For something a little different, we order the crispy duck with orange marmalade. Here, it comes two ways; the leg is confit while the breast is shredded and wrapped in a crispy parcel and given a modern interpretation with a thin crispy disc of orange slice.

Dark chocolate and date tart $20

Dark chocolate and date tart $20

We struggle to fit in desserts but the offerings here are so varied, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity. The signature dark chocolate and date tart is dense, rich and moist and perfumed with rose water ice cream with a sprinkling of edible rose petals – decadent and luxurious.

Bread and butter pudding $20

Bread and butter pudding $20

I love bread and butter pudding and here, it is given a lightness of touch, using brioche, served with a dollop of chestnut cream and a light runny custard, the perfect comfort dessert.

Bread and butter pudding $20

Bread and butter pudding $20

As we leave the restaurant, the sky deepens in colour to a purple haze, ready for the dinner crowd who’s about to witness the changing allure of Catalina’s backdrop.

Pier at Rose Bay

Pier at Rose Bay

Catalina Rosebay, Sydney

Catalina Rosebay, Sydney

Sailboats in Sydney harbour and skyline from Cremorne Point

Sailboats in Sydney harbour and skyline from Cremorne Point

So dear readers, do you like to listen to music while you dine and if so what kind of music do you like?

Lyne Park,
Rosebay, Sydney
Tel : +61 2 9371 0555

Business hours:

Monday – Saturday: 12pm – Midnight (restaurant remains open all afternoon and does not close between lunch and dinner)
Sunday lunch: 12pm – 6.00pm (closed Sunday dinner)

Catalina on Urbanspoon

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30 Responses to Catalina, Rose Bay

  1. Celia says:

    What a gorgeous place! I went to a wedding there years ago – lovely to look at your photos accompanied by one of my favourite songs. But…my family aren’t going to be happy with you, because I’ll be humming it all weekend now.. πŸ˜‰

    I’ve never tried the whitebait with duck egg, but it looks amazing!

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Celia,

      A high school friend of mine got married there too. It’s a truly magical setting, especially during twilight in summer. I just thought the song is apt for the setting of the restaurant being by the water with such breath-taking views of Sydney harbour.

  2. Maia says:

    What tempting photos – and naturally I love the musical pairing!

  3. The view here is amazing and those oysters look insanely good!

  4. I love the view from Catalina! Once when we ate there a pelican sat on the balcony with us! πŸ˜€

  5. jaded says:

    More than the food, thanks to your photos, I’m now longing for a perfect blue sky day – after this week’s endless rain. That said, I’ve been a bit ho-hum about Catalina for a while but I think it might be time to revisit.

  6. Ann says:

    Everything looked amazing and the write-up was pure poetry! I enjoy very, VERY soft music in the background. If it’s at all loud, it distracts me too much from the conversation I’m having with my dinner companions. I’d rather have no music than loud. Thanks for sharing this….GREAT pics!

  7. Hannah says:

    Despite the fact that your first photo struck fear into the very depths of my heart, I persevered, and hurrah! The chocolate and date tart was worth getting over the hurdle of the devil’s fruit for! πŸ˜€

  8. Lucas says:

    That duck had me drooling, but that seems bloody expensive for a dessert. Was the whitebait nicely flavored or like anchovies?

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Lucas,

      The duck was great and it’s not a dessert, it is a main course.

      The whitebait was fresh, crispy and the duck egg added a good salty dimension. It did not taste like anchovies.

  9. Camemberu says:

    Thanks for the follow on Twitter. You have such a gorgeous blog! I have relatives in Mosman, I must tell them about this place!

  10. I’ll be dreaming of oysters tonight.. Beautiful photos of the scenery and the food. My nephew goes to a Catholic primary school in Rose Bay, and I heard that it’s a nice and affluent part of Sydney – your photos confirm that.

  11. What an amazing place to have dinner. The food looks lovely as does the view. It is going down on my list of restaurants to go to when I finally visit Australia. GG

  12. Nice song, awesome views, delicious food, nothing can be better than this. Thanks for sharing. :)

  13. David says:

    Hi there, just stopping by a few blogs rather randomly, yours looks great. Catalina certainly is lovely, all the more so on a breezy sunny day. This post makes me want to return soon!

  14. msihua says:

    That view is amazing! Kind of reminds me when we were at the Pier dining on the other side of the bay!

  15. Raymund says:

    That duck just looks so delectable, outside looks so crispy. Love the sweet and savoury combination of that disg

  16. Hotly Spiced says:

    That first photo really drew me in. I love duck and the presentation of that duck looked incredible. But the price??? I think that is over the top expensive. I’ve just had my sister out here from New York (apparently one of the most expensive cities in the world) and while here she went to all of Sydney’s A-List venues and she said if the restaurants here charged in New York what they charged here they’d be arrested and shut down. She couldn’t believe the prices. WHY do we have to pay so much for a great dining experience???

    • Chopinand says:

      Hi Hotly Spiced

      I think “expensive” is a relative term. When dining in different countries, one needs to consider whether it’s fair to convert the exchange rate back to your home currency for comparison. As a general rule, I try not to convert so that dollar-for-dollar, I get to see what you can buy in another country. Based on non-conversion, one can also say that fine dining in Australia is cheap compared to say Singapore or Hong Kong because it will be difficult to find a fine dining restaurant for say $200 in Singapore as some of the restaurants there charge upwards of S$400 to start with.

  17. oh wow the whitebait with fried duck egg is calling to me!

  18. heidi says:

    I love your dining experiences!
    You share them so well.
    I do like music whilst eating- mostly classical-Telemann, Vivaldi, Bach….

  19. mashi says:

    This looks amazing! You’re good at picking dishes, if I was dining with you, I’d definitely get food envy haha

  20. OMG that whitebait dish looks fab!! What a stunning venue, view and food :)

  21. First of all that’s one of my all time favorite songs – it’s always been so soothing to listen to. As for Catalina it looks wonderful and that Bread & Butter pudding looks to die for. I wish I had that recipe. Sounds like a nice time. Thanks for sharing it along with your song.

  22. It’s been a while and I totally forgot your blog is dangerous to visit late at night…heheheh again I made a mistake and here I am. Everything looks so delicious and I wish I could dine here. Dark chocolate and date? Wow that’s amazing…. Miss drooling at your site. πŸ˜‰

  23. I really enjoyed that you posted music with your post! I do that quite often and try to catch the “nature” of a post with the music I post with it.

    That restaurant looks like a dream! All the seafood … LOVE! πŸ˜€

    I’ve had oysters only once in my lie so far, and I was quite young. I still remember they reminded me of salty slime … (So, I found them totally disgusting.) But my taste has changed a lot since then, and I’d actually love to try them again! Your pictures have justed awakened this idea. :)

  24. Asmita says:

    I love your blog and the photographs are so beautiful! The dark chocolate and date tart looks amazing, wish I could just dive into it.

  25. Sissi says:

    Everything looks so elegant and delicious! Your perfect photos make every dish look even more sophisticated. The view and location are simply priceless.

  26. tigerfish says:

    The white bait with fried duck egg dish kinda reminded me of crabs wok-fried with salted (duck) eggs πŸ˜€

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear tigerfish,

      Great observation and we all know how delicious mud crabs tossed with salted duck eggs are!!

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