The saying goes "nothing beats experience" and Catelina has certainly proved its worth over the years despite the many challenges. Even after the global financial crisis in 2008, the passing of Michael McMahon in 2020, and the last three years of Covid19, Judy, Kate, James McMahon, and the team have continued to thrive.
You may ask, what is their winning formula? Throughout our visit, we witnessed fresh produce, simple ingredients yet with great depth of flavor, attention to detail in customers' needs, and a warm, friendly service. Hospitality genes are either in you or they aren't, but Catalina's team is hand-selected by a group of elite.
Our lunch gathering began with a martini to stimulate the palate, it was accompanied by fresh local oysters and tempura king prawns. We were completely mesmerized by the vibrant mango, chili margaritas that passed over our shoulders, it complimented the beautiful back drop of clear blue sky and shimmering minty green waters.
I could only speak for what I had selected, which was the fish and mushroom dumplings. The delicious layers of flavours were indeed a weekend winner, especially when paired with their New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc!
Dessert can never be complete without a classic affogato, so I finished my meal with one.
The silver dining restaurant contains white walls, wooden floors, simple but very clean decor – a perfect white canvas for painting the softs pastels of sundown and the colourful signature dishes of Executive Chef - Mark Axisa.
There is no doubt that the food restaurant industry is a hard, long road of sweat and tears but can be a fruitful venture if one is focused and determined to be in it for the long hall. One needs to be passionate, adaptable and always willing to create. With today’s cost of living the restaurant owners have no choice but to adapt and endure the rising cost of rent, produce and logistic solutions. For the team at Catalina's, when it comes to your dining experience, it seems that their approach is "you breathe, live for the service and joy of seeing others happy". Thank you kindly Team for your excellent service, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality.