Dining Out: PJ’s Pasta Cafe Bar, Camberwell

by April@MyFoodTrail on May 1, 2009

in Camberwell, Dining Out, Italian

PJ’s Pasta Cafe Bar
727 Burke Road, Camberwell VIC
(03) 9882 1143

Cuisine: Italian
BYO: Yes, $2 per person
Price: Entrees $10-$16, Mains $16-$19.50
Parking: Street parking – along Burke Road, small car parks off Burke Road
Visited: December 2008

Hubby and I have been coming here for years, back when it was called Pasta Junction. It is a small cozy place, a few doors down from Camberwell Junction. We first discovered it due to a shop-a-docket voucher! They were offering buy one get one free main so we decided to give it a try. If not for the shop-a-docket, we probably would have never ventured in and we would have missed out on yummy Italian food all these years.

The back of the restaurant

PJ’s has a large selection of menu items considering the size of the restaurant. The pasta cooking is done in a small open kitchen at the front, but there is also a larger kitchen out the back. There are 9 entrees, 6 lasagne/risottos, 15 pastas, 7 mains, 4 sides, 3 salads and 6 desserts. That’s not to mention the 9 items listed on the specials board!

The specials board

Every time we go there, we only order a pasta each and sometimes a dessert to share. The pasta is normally enough to fill us up, though this time I noticed that the serves have gotten a lot smaller. Even with a selection of 15 pastas, I always order the same thing – the pumpkin gnocchi. This is THE best gnocchi dish I have tasted in my life! I always come here when I have a gnocchi craving.

Pumpkin gnocchi with baby spinach, mushrooms, bacon in a cream sauce with two melting cheeses and crispy pancetta $18

The gnocchi is always cooked to perfection and there are plenty of ingredients to make the dish overflowing with flavour. However, I think this time there was too much cheese sauce so I felt it was too rich.

My hubby likes to try something different each time and this visit he chose the pappardelli.

Chorizo sausage and chicken with pappardelli pasta, peas and spinach in a pesto cream sauce $18

It was an interesting combination of chicken and chorizo in a creamy sauce but hubby’s comment was that it was just okay. I tried some and to me the dish was not salty enough. We wouldn’t order it again.

We still had room for dessert and I rarely say no to an offer of dessert, but the hard thing was deciding what to have! All the desserts sound delicious. We ended up choosing the sticky date pudding.

Sticky date pudding with a rich butterscotch sauce served with cream and icecream $8.50

I prefer my sticky date pudding with icecream so I claimed the icecream as mine. The pudding was moist and the butterscotch sauce really hit the spot without being too sweet. It was the perfect end to a yummy pasta meal (well, at least for me. Too bad for you hubby!).

PJ’s have a special on Sunday to Thursday where you can get a main pasta and a glass of house wine for $17.90. For value like that, it is definitely worth the visit.

Over & Out, Rilsta xx

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge May 3, 2009 at 11:43 pm

wow, both those pasta dish’s look extremely creamy, but the sticky date does look delish! It was sucks when you go bad to places and they seemed to have changed, in this case, portions sizes.

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Rilsta May 6, 2009 at 9:10 am

I guess portion sizes are also affected during the global financial crisis!!

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