If Betty & Veronica lived in Chinatown, I think they’d hang out at Norita Cafe. Located in the Sydney’s Spanish “quarter” (could a quarter be any smaller?), it seems to be a magnet for young folks wanting to sip on freshly-blitzed pineapple juices, crash out on an oversized couch and break out the board games.
There’s a random array of things to play – from Tumbling Monkeys to Clue to everyone’s favourite party-scene-stealer, Axis & Allies: Europe (which I misread initially as “Arts & Allies: Europe” – a heartstopping game about arts administration set in Basel and Utrecht, I imagined, until I put on my glasses). The games will set you back a few hours and a few dollars (depending on how many houses on the Monopoly board you want to rack up or drawing room game villains you want to nab).
There are also light snacks and the over-the-top desserts you’d expect in a joint that’s so close to Chinatown – think green tea and black sesame ice cream scoops paired with sweetened red bean ($9). To encourage you to lounge around, there’s free cake on Thursdays and other calendar-coordinated discounts.
Norita has one polarising thing about it – I won’t let slip what it is. You’ll easily work it out when you’re there. It’s a little sneaky and is the one aspect that stops me from really liking the place. That and the fact I’m still waiting for Jughead and Moose to turn up.
Norita Cafe, Level 2, 77 Liverpool St, Sydney