Catalina Rose Bay Sydney THE F interview review 7

Eating In Autumn With Catalina Rose Bay

There is in Sydney an exclusive place that’s not so much a figment of finery, but rather the actual embodiment of it. It’s a passion project and a labour of love that took over not only the lives of two Sydney restauranteurs, but their children, too.

This place is called Catalina and lies on the quietly prominent and oh so popular slice of land in Rose Bay, Sydney that plays home to sea planes, multi-million dollar yachts and views money almost cannot buy. Unless of course, you’re visiting for lunch or dinner.

Judy McMahon and her husband, Michael, spoke to THE F about a year ago on all thing ‘Catalina’ and what they’re about. This year, we revisit them to peel back the secrets behind their seasonal menu, food influence and what keeps that drive burning bright through the cooler winter months.

Catalina Rose Bay Sydney THE F interview review 3

As Judy says, when it comes to Catalina’s gastronomic approach to the cooler months as we’re layering up our clothes and our bellies, it’s important that seasonality comes first, coupled with a fine mix of only the best of what’s available.

“The temperature naturally calls for heartier and more complex dish options,” she said. “Our producers come from wherever the best produce is. We use the highest quality [ingredients], sourced from all over Australia. Our team of chefs are passionate about sustainable and local produce.”

Catalina Rose Bay Sydney THE F interview review 4
Catalina is passionate about its quality and it only takes one long luncheon surrounded by its finery to realise that supporting and utilising the best of what New South Wales and Australia have to offer is a value the McMahons hold true.

“Our AFR dinner next week (May 2016), Catalina presents an homage to our State’s finest, is a perfect example of this – a true celebration of NSW wine and produce,” said Judy.

Catalina Rose Bay Sydney THE F interview review 5

Sure to be received well, much like most of the Catalina’s wintry menu, the produce speak volumes about the establishment. Founded in 1994, Judy and Michael aren’t chefs, but have an unrivalled passion for food and hospitality that culminates in the work they do. Their ‘hands-on’ approach means they control quality, process and procurement, honing in on their mantra, ‘it’s all about the best produce available’.

“We are in daily contact with our suppliers of fish, meat, poultry and fresh produce to see what is best on the market,” she said. “While our menu is constantly evolving with the seasons, we pride ourselves on knowing what our customer’s want at Catalina. We have signature dishes such as our pan-fried snapper and our signature dish the suckling pig which have featured our menu for years. These dishes are consistently crowd favourites with regulars and new customers alike – especially in winter!”

However, Catalina isn’t all about what you’re eating; it’s as much about the view, which sitting anywhere in the restaurant from the balcony to the back wall, is flooring.

“People come to the Catalina for the food and the view. It is the same all year. It is the place to dine where you know the food quality and spectacular view will always deliver. No matter if the weather is sunny, bleak or a winter storm is approaching; the panoramic floor to ceiling view gives diners a remarkable vantage point. You just need to look at our social media (@CATALINAROSEBAY)  to see that customers feel the same,” said Judy.

The Catalina of Rose Bay is open most days of the week for lunch and dinner. See more at their booking page online.

Catalina Rose Bay Sydney THE F interview review 2

Catalina Rose Bay Sydney THE F interview review 6


Catalina Rose Bay Sydney THE F interview review 9

Catalina Rose Bay Sydney THE F interview review 8






James Banham
Follow James

James Banham

Editor at THE F
James Banham is an Australian lifestyle, fashion and entertainment journalist. His writing can be found on these many topics and more in print and online publications around the country.
James Banham
Follow James