Regatta Rose Bay Fine Dining-Interior Waterfront food

Regatta | Sydney fine dining | Waterfront gourmet

Charisma and character - and just a little bit game-changing. Action!

How to outwit winter? Susan Skelly seeks a gourmet rescue remedy.

Regatta, twice in one week. First for Claudio Morales’ truffled scallops and sweetbread, backing up for a Pizzini wine dinner where Moreton Bay bug tortellini with caviar stole the show.

This is the place that used to be Pier (steered for two decades by chef Greg Doyle who famously, in 2010, renounced his three SMH Good Food Guide hats en route to a less labour-intensive style of food) and briefly The Sailor’s Club, before relaunching, in October last year, as Regatta.

Regatta scallops sweetbreadtruffles claudio morales

Making the most of the winter truffle season, Claudio Morales’ scallop and sweetbread sensation at Regatta.

Morales’ food is exciting, creative and elegantly sumptuous. Expect to eye off everyone else’s food and want the lot. Mix and match from the raw, entrée, main or side-dish menus. Upfront is colour-popping sashimi; tuna tartare with chopped asparagus and a smear of rocket crème fraiche; or tataki of beef eye fillet with finger fennel and spiced chimichurri. The scallops with sweetbread and winter truffles are a couture curtain-raiser, as is a confit calamari accessorised with crushed peas and squid ink, and an intense king brown mushroom soup, poured at the table over a pillowy-plump MB bug, its unexpected accompaniment pulled pork belly on slivers of toast.

Regatta confit calamari crushed peas squid ink Claudio Morales

Regatta’s confit calamari with crushed green peas and squid ink.

A party of four were all but swooning over the rosemary-infused lamb ribs, and a cloak of crisp scales atop a snapper fillet was getting the kind of attention reserved for an Archibald Prize winner on opening night. A hip wine list proffered up a fine bottle of  2011 Denis Pommier Chablis. As irresistible and as evil as pastry chef Tracey James’s  banana parfait and peanut butter mousse, as pretty as a picture and which turned out to be more art attack than heart attack.

Regatta Sydney dining Tracey James banana parfait-and peanut butter mousse dessert winner

Tracey James’s sublime banana parfait with chocolate cremeux and peanut butter mousse. Photo Alan Deans

Morales was previously head chef at Merivale establishments Uccello and Ash Street Cellar. On the pier at Rose Bay, trophy boats clustered close by, he presides over a shimmering space, designed by Luchetti Krelle – comfortable yet oozing cachet.

Winter wine dinners are de rigueur in Sydney right now. The Pizzini family came to Regatta from Whitfield in Victoria’s King Valley region bringing with them the Italian varietals that have earned them a reputation as one of the leading makers of modern Italian wine styles. A 2014 Pizzini Pinot Grigio matched an elegant kingfish carpaccio; the 2014 Arneis proved the arriviste with the bug and caviar tortellini; a 2013 Pizzini Nonna Gisella Sangiovese brought out the best in the pan-roasted barramundi’s bone marrow sauce; and the signature Pizzini nebbiolo (a 2011) was wingman to a crusted lamb rack and rib. Felton Road and ARIA had a playdate on August 13, and on August 18, Otto Ristorante on the Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf will be making merry with Vasse Felix wines.

Related: Centennial Hotel


Claudio Morales Regatta Sydney fine dining

Claudio Morales, at the helm of Regatta in Sydney’s Rose Bay. Photo courtesy Regatta

Regatta 594 New South Head Road, Rose Bay, Sydney (02) 9327 6561

Food photos Susan Skelly


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