From $555 lobster boxes to $150 packs of roast chicken: How the wealthiest families in lockdown are dining like royalty under stay-at-home orders
- Catalina restaurant in Rose Bay keeping wealthy families well-fed in lockdown
- Sydney restaurant supplying $555 takeaway seafood boxes for customers
- Other meals to takeaway include $150 roast chicken and $135 cocktails
- Owner Judy McMahon defended price tag with time each box takes to prepare
- Has been able to keep most of staff on during Covid by adapting business
A ritzy restaurant in Sydney’s eastern suburbs is keeping wealthy residents well-fed during the city’s Covid-19 lockdown.
Catalina restaurant, in Rose Bay, is struggling to keep up with demand for its $555 lobster takeaway boxes.
The fine dining restaurant has managed to retain staff during the crippling lockdown, with some eastern suburbs homes ordering a box a week.
The package comes with one rock lobster, 12 freshly shucked oysters, eight peeled king prawns, salmon, a mud crab and sides of sourdough bread and garden salad.
Catalina restaurant (pictured) in Rose Bay is supplying customers with $555 seafood boxes and $150 roach chicken meals during lockdown
Other meal options include a $150 roast chicken with bread, stuffing and spring vegetables with 750ml cocktails available for $135 to wash it down.
Catalina owner Judy McMahon has defended the steep price tag of the restaurant’s boxes, saying it takes over half an hour to prepare elements of the meals alongside a bespoke Catalina loaf of bread included in the box.
‘The $550 is huge, some people would baulk at it, (but) it is premium seafood,’ Ms McMahon says.
‘It is expensive but it would easily feed four people for sure,’ she says.
The seafood box (pictured) will set customers back $555, but owner Judy McMahon says the steep price tag is worth it
Customers also have the opportunity to purchase a 50g tin of black Siberian caviar with a mother of pearl spoon for an extra $300 or another $100 for a bunch of flowers.
‘We are going gangbusters and doing everything we can think of for people to enjoy and it does not involve cooking,’ she told The Australian.
‘People are so bored at home they like the idea of buying a food pack such as the romance pack or the Father’s Day pack.’
Delivery for the restaurant is available for customers living in Rose Bay, Double Bay, Point Piper, Bellevue Hill, Vaucluse and Woollahra.
Ms McMahon says the restaurant is about to launch new, more affordable picnic packs to go.
These packs will include antipasto, olives, haloumi, marinated vegetables, salad and lemon meringue pie catering for two and will be available from September 13.
The restaurant has been able to keep business going, catering fine-dining takeaway restaurants to wealthy Sydney suburbs
Ms McMahon says the restaurant is also soon launching picnics to go available from September 13. She says business has been booming during lockdown, allowing 50 of the 75 staff at the restaurant to continue working through the pandemic
A Catalina signature dish, a lemon tart will be available for $150 while a pavlova with passionfruit curd and berries will set customers back $140.
Ms McMahon says the restaurant is also going through tequila ‘like there is no tomorrow’, with signature cocktails such as the Tommy Margarita and the Mamma Mia Margarita among the best sellers.
‘We had this experience last year, we knew what would do well. But because it has been so much longer, we keep developing new ideas, based around a food pack, around themes. People are so bored at home they like the idea of buying a pack like the ‘romance pack’, commented Ms McMahon.
The Catalina restaurant has been a location for fine dining in Sydney for 26 years with panoramic views of the waterfront.
Ms McMahon says their signature cocktails and desserts are also flying out the door, with lemon tarts and pavlova available for takeaway