Catalina, a beach-club-inspired restaurant boasting skyline views, opens in South Brisbane
A beach club with no beach. It sounds odd on paper, we know, but hold your skepticism for a moment longer. Catalina Rooftop, South Brisbane’s brand-new rooftop bar, restaurant and lounge, might not have the sand to go with its resort-inspired aesthetic, but it more than makes up for it with panoramic skyline views, a 30-metre infinity pool (complete with cushy day beds for hire), a menu of Mediterranean-meets-Japanese fare (including sashimi, Moreton Bay bug raviolo and lobster thermidor) and a drinks menu boasting double magnums of rosé and an assortment of refreshing cocktails. This jaw-dropping locale officially opens today, Friday February 18, and is a must-visit venue for those craving a taste of Dubai, St Tropez and Las Vegas luxury.
If success in the property game is all about ‘location, location, location’, then Ross Ledingham and Stefano De Blasi have a truly impressive track record for finding primo positions ahead of the market. Last year the respective heads of Icatha Hospitality and Salt Meat Cheese Group secured one of Fortitude Valley’s last remaining vacant heritage sites for their first joint concept Evita, a fire-powered Argentinian-influenced restaurant nestled inside what was once an old-school bakery. Their newest venture, Catalina Rooftop, handily one-ups Evita’s earthbound locality with its perch 12 storeys above terra firma at the top of Mobo South Brisbane – a newly constructed building on the corner of Merivale Street and Tribune Street. Among the city’s myriad of rooftop bars and restaurants, Catalina sticks out – it sits atop the only commercial office tower in Australia equipped with its own infinity rooftop pool (one that’s 30 metres in length, might we add), it boasts some of the best panoramic views of the Brisbane City skyline, and its 1500-sqm footprint affords room for a suite of luxury amenities. When presented with the site, it didn’t take long for the duo to jot their signatures down on the dotted line of a lease agreement. Animated discussions between Ross and Stefano quickly helped set the foundations of Catalina’s identity – a light, bright and white bar and restaurant inspired by the boutique beach clubs found in Dubai, Las Vegas and dotted along the Mediterranean coast.
Driving Catalina’s conceptualisation was the desire to give Brisbane locals a sense of travel and luxury, allowing them to access resort-style vibes without needing to head to the coast. Catalina’s layout affords a multifaceted offering that can cater to the early rising breakfast bunch, the sun-seeking relaxation crowd, the cocktail-craving sunset set and the dressed-up dinner devourers. Stepping out from the elevator guests are greeted by Catalina’s bar and lounge space, which boasts low rattan lounges and high-top tables for casual sips and snacks. Further along sits the main dining floor, itself offering room for 128 covers across long communal tables and curved blue-hued booths – all afforded glimpses of views to the north and west. The pool deck is where these views go from intriguing to breathtaking, with an assortment of lounges and day beds positioned underneath a retractable cabana and the branches of frangipani trees. These day beds can be rented all day, and come with access to towels, lockers, showers, hair dryers and straighteners – a nearby retail nook also sells swimmers for those that find the urge to dip into glinting waters too alluring to resist. Finally, a sunken lounge over in the far corner is another desirable spot for breezy bacchanalian banqueting.
Catalina’s menu is best described as a tasteful amalgam of Mediterranean and Japanese cuisines. The fun starts with the raw bar selection, offering the likes of scampi caviar, kingfish crudo, beef carpaccio and assorted sashimi. From there, guests can whet appetites with entrees likes Moreton Bay bug raviolo, octopus roulade and pan-seared scallops, or head straight for large-format mains including snapper meuniere, lobster thermidor, cold-smoked Black Onyx flank steak, grilled Goldband snapper and fire-roasted eggplant with whipped tofu. A pool deck menu offers a selection of dishes from the main menu as well as specialty snacks like lobster rolls, calamari fritte and smoked-eggplant tacos. Folks up not long after sunrise on weekends can swing by Catalina for breakfast, with balsamic figs with smoked-honey mascarpone, hotcakes with caramelised maple banana and potato-and-herb rosti with poached eggs, chorizo and roast-pepper ragu up for grabs. Catalina’s drink menu is stacked – think 14 signature cocktails (all light, fruity and long), spritzes on tap, loads of wine (including Dom Perignon by the glass and double magnums of Chateau D’Esclans Whispering Angel rosé), beers, bottle-service spirits and low- or no-alcohol options.
Catalina Rooftop officially opens today, Friday February 18. Head to the Stumble Guide for operating hours and booking details.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.