Sofia’s is one of those places that has to be seen to be believed. The locals in Camberwell know that this is the place to go when you are really, really hungry. The servings are massive. My mind boggles at the amount of food dished up. In fact I tripped over once or twice because I was too busy marvelling at the size of other people’s food that I forgot to watch where I was going.
(Tristan and his Spaghetti Bolognaise – small – $11?)
We had a family lunch at Sofia’s for Josh’s birthday. I picked it because it’s close, it’s decent and it’s cheap. His side of the family is Scottish, you see. It definitely isn’t you-beaut-gourmet type restaurant but the food is decent and for such large servings it was never made half-arsed. In our experience anyway and we’ve been there a few times.
(Judy’s Fettucine Avocado – $11?)
One note about Sofia: ‘I’m not hungry, I’ll just have a salad’ line of thinking will prove you utterly wrong. You will get a mountain of salad. Literally. If you are not hungry, get a small pasta and take the doggie bag home. Everyone does it. There’s no rubbish snobbery taboo about taking leftovers home. Trust me, there will be leftovers. Judy liked her avocado pasta.
(pollo avocado – $18?)
My avocado chicken was two full breasts of chicken cooked in creamy sauce. It was slightly salty but balanced well with the chicken breasts and the steamed veggies. It came with half a broccoli (really), some cauliflower, a huge wedge of pumpkin, carrot pieces and half a potato. It was topped with strips of beetroot, which strangely tasted like those dehydrated coconut strips. We shared this around a bit and everyone liked it, albeit it being quite rich.
(tagliatelle di casa – $11?)
Josh ordered tagliatelle di casa. I ordered it last time we went and he really liked it. It was cream sauce with spinach, raisins and pinenuts. Again there was a lot of meal sharing going on. This dish was really quite good.
(Gnocchi Calabresa – $11?)
This photo is actually from last visit and I’m just sneaking it in. This was Josh’s gnocchi calabresa which was salami, capsicum, mushroom and tomato sauce. The gnocchi was too floury and the sauce was too greasy from too much salami. So this one wasn’t very good.
(Tortellini Pollo Funghi – large – $14?)
Richard ordered a large tortellini, which he polished off AFTER finishing a pizza by himself. I tried a bit of it and didn’t like it very much. I think filled pasta and gnocchi at Sofia aren’t so great.
(tandoori chicken pizza – $10?)
And this was the said pizza. Can’t say how it was but he did finish it off at an amazing rate! All of the food we ordered was shared around a fair bit because there was just so much of it. There were 12 of us (including two kids) there but I think we shared around 7 dishes. Which meant, for the first time ever at Sofia, I got to try the desserts!
(tim tam cheese – $7.50)
Judy ordered the Tim Tam cheesecake. I am so impressed with Judy. She finished all of her pasta all by herself and still had room for dessert. The Tim Tam cheesecake was good. Wasn’t ooh la la master patisserie type thing but it was decent. I had a bite of it.
(baci chocolate cake $7.50)
Richard asked for the richest, chocolatiest cake. As if he hadn’t had enough food and polished that off too. It’s amazing. I hate people with ridiculously high metalbolism.
Lyn had ordered the banana and walnut crepe. It was really strange and yellow. The banana was cooked in pineapple syrup. It was so artificially yellow that it turned everyone off. Not me. What turned me off though was the underripen banana and the undercooked crepe. Didn’t enjoy that one.
All in all though, Sofia’s is just one of those cool places to go out for a casual, big crowd. It’s not too expensive and the meal size is a huge entertainment point. We had a good time sharing out food and sat down and ate like we would at home as a family. It was a good lunch.
Unrelated to Sofia, I bought a box of macarons from Lindt (Lindt insists on calling them delice. I suspect they just don’t want people getting confused with macaroons so they could charge more!) for everyone to share. Gareth the little baby/toddler/whatever ended up eating two. Kid has expensive taste! I have tried a few now and so far vanilla has been the best.
Sofia’s Pizza House, 857 Burke Rd., Camberwell VIC 3124