The harbour in all its panoramic postcard glory... Catalina.
The harbour in all its panoramic postcard glory... Catalina. Photo: Paul McMahon

Lyne Park (next to Rose Bay ferry wharf) Rose Bay, New South Wales 2029

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Opening hours Mon - Sat 12 Noon to 10 PM, Sun 12 Noon to 6 PM
Features Accepts bookings, Bar, Family friendly, Licensed, Long lunch, Views, Gluten-free options, Vegetarian friendly, Romance-first date, Events
Prices Expensive (mains over $40)
Chef Mark Axisa
Seats 160
Payments Diner's Club, eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 02 9371 0555
Free wine for Citibank cardholders here

Ideally you want a table here when Rose Bay’s sparkle outshines that of the clientele’s jewellery. But if the weather’s a bit ordinary, knocking back oysters with a cranky harbour and battering rain is a perfectly fine way to pass the time. The yacht-clubby room could do with a jolt of modernity but there’s much to like about this stalwart of the east. The service team, for one, is among the most attentive around. Seared scallops with chopped chorizo and cuttlefish is sweet and full of texture while a toothfish sous-vide with tomato consomme is full of crystal clear tastes. At the redder end of the scale, a beef tenderloin with bone marrow butter and potato gratin hits all the right umami notes. A wordy dessert list can be difficult to navigate: in the end, a lemon tart with mascarpone confirms that the simplest things are often the best.

And … Respect to the Le Thiers steak knives.

Sportscraft stiffness that loosens after a couple of gins.
Best bit The harbour view. 
Worst bit Paying for that view in the bill.