Noon - Midnight
Sun Lunch only
We awake to a glorious winter's day; the sun is shining, the birds are singing and we are on holiday - it really doesn't get much better than this....well, yes it does, if you throw in lunch by the water!
With this in mind, we bundle ourselves into the trusty Mazda & make our way to Catalina.
Parking sorted (in a 12 hour zone, no less), we make our way inside. The restaurant is spacious, bright & inviting & complements it's glorious harbourside location.
We are seated outside, on the terrace - and glass of Sauvignon Blanc in hand, we soak up the sun's rays, while awaiting the arrival of our first course - savouring the delicious sourdough (baked on the premises daily) and lush, creamy, salty butter.
Buggles' entree of Crisp confit pork belly, with pear compote and quinoa salad, is a clear winner with her. The belly is tender & moist, but could do with a little more crisp in its crackling. The quinoa having soaked up the porky juices, packs a flavour punch, while the pear compote's sweetness, tempers the richness of the pork.
My Pickled baby beetroot, caramelised onion, witlof, toasted walnut and gorgonzola dolce tart is spectacular. The pickled beetroot is a little tart, but also sweetish and I certainly cannot complain about the abundance of gorgonzola! It is a classic dish, presented beautifully and I enjoy it immensely.
Wine topped, and after an apology for the delay, our mains finally arrive.
Pan-fried snapper with potato and garlic mash, served with lemon caper butter is the choice for Buggles today. We never eat fish at home, so she does tend to get her fix when we dine out. She has chosen well today - the snapper is plump, moist, gloriously flaky with a nice crisp top. The mash is rich and buttery with just a hint of garlic; the lemon caper butter that tops it all is silky and smooth, with a delicate citrus hit. Perfection.
It is no secret that I love beef in pretty much all it's forms. So of course, Riverine beef tenderloin with fondant potato and truffle mushroom duxelle is exactly where I am heading today.
The beef is cooked perfectly, it really couldn't be better - it is so tender, juicy and delicious. I love the earthiness of the mushrooms and the creaminess of the fondant potato. Certainly a winner with me.
We accompany our mains with a lovely fresh garden salad & some green beans topped with flaked, toasted almonds - both very enjoyable.
Dessert brings us to the dish that neither one of us can ignore, Salted peanut praline and caramel parfait. An inspired choice, as it turns out, the parfait is so smooth and velvety and has a wonderful, caramel flavour that goes hand in hand with the crunch and saltiness of the praline, we relish every mouthful.
We end our meal with a coffee each and a serve of petit fours.
The service at Catalina is another feather in its cap - warm and relaxed, we are made to feel welcome from the outset and it made our lunch that much more enjoyable.
We can't wait to return to Catalina for one of our quarterly 'Ladies who Lunch' events!