26 Horan St
James Street's loss has been West End's gain since artisan pasta makers CJs Pasta expanded their burgeoning business into a new side street warehouse here, complete with espresso window and plans for an in-house deli.
Little else has changed though – this is still Brisbane's go-to spot for duck ravioli and caramelized onion and roasted garlic gnocchi and a host of other pastas and sauces made from age old techniques.
In the new big kitchen, stacked boxes of fresh Roma tomatoes sit awaiting the right stage of ripe, a cook carefully removes the flesh of ripe ones as he has been doing for twenty years, putting the pulp aside for sauce making and the flesh for semi and sun drying. On Tuesdays the gnocchi making takes over, with the peeling of hundreds of potatoes, then on Wednesdays its ravioli making day and Thursdays pasta cutting day. And the minute the pasta is made (all from fresh eggs) it's snap frozen so there's not a preservative on the premises here.
While this is chiefly a walk-in and buy pasta and sauce from the fridge set-up (with plenty of helpful cooking advice on hand), at the counter there are large fresh trays of lasagne in family and single size to take home and heat up as well as a small refrigerated range of delish heat up non pasta dishes to take home such as Hungarian braised veal or chicken and porcini sausage rolls. These come in some 40 rotating varieties with 8 new ones daily.
And no need to go elsewhere for dessert either – a retired Hilton executive pastry chef supplies a small but divine range of sweet treats such as macadamia nut caramel tarts and baked cheesecake and CJ's also stock Bravo and Bambino gelati cones.
Also worth knowing: there's also a range of gluten free pastas and pizza bases, not made in-house but from a tried and trusted supplier.