Long considered the jewel in the crown of the Sydney dining scene, the city's affluent eastern suburbs lost a little of their shimmer this week with two high-profile restaurants finding themselves in deep water.
Regatta, which has operated for the past six years in the site where Pier restaurant previously long reigned, is now under the watch of administrators Andre Lakomy and Alan Walker from Cor Cordis.
Perched on the edge of harbour, Regatta commands one of the two great restaurant sites at Rose Bay (Catalina the other). Well-heeled locals usually favoured one site or the other, in the same way they might be a Mercedes or a BMW family.
The upmarket Regatta inherited the site's celebrity diner draw – Princess Mary among those drawn to its marina setting. Backed by posse of businessmen, Regatta sailed early with Damien Pignolet at the helm creatively, with the veteran chef departing the restaurant several years ago.
A spokeswoman for Cor Cordis confirmed Regatta remains open and trading while under administration, but didn't respond to questions over the longer-term prospects for the restaurant or how much is owed to creditors. A clearer picture on its financial state will emerge at a creditors meeting slated for October 30.
Over on the beach side, at Bondi, Panama House catered to a young, hip crowd, etching itself on the surfside suburb first at Bondi Road before moving to the upmarket Pacific development across the road from the beach.
Despite its ocean views and good early reviews, Panama House is in liquidation. "It's not trading at this point of time," a spokesperson for Jirsch Sutherland told Good Food. Was the impact of COVID-19 the tipping point for Panama House? "That's what we need to figure out."