Cafe Noriter: More Like ‘Cafe No Return’

Cafe Noriter is a somehow new coffee shop here in Cebu City. Noriter (놀이터, pronounced /nɔrɪtə/) is the Korean word for “playground,” or one of the Korean words for playground. According to the staff, it is the only branch here in the Philippines, but there is one in Manila (so I really do not understand what he means by that; he mentioned about the Manila branch being a “copy.”) It’s been a while since I really wanted to post my review of the establishment, so here is what I think of the their place, food, drink, price, and staff and service.

The Place: 5/5

The place is the plus. Like, really. What makes Cafe Noriter famous, I guess, is the design of its interior, which I think is really innovative and fresh for Cebuanos. Unlike most coffee shops with tables and chairs, Cafe Noriter has got double-deck “cribs” where customers can laze around while enjoying their food and drink. Every crib has a small table for your food and drink, pillows to make you comfortable, and stuffed toys to make you even more comfortable. Yep, no chairs. You sit on the floor of the cribs and enjoy your food and/or drink. The walls are also full of post-it notes from previous customers, which range from their experience, love notes, inspirational messages, “I was here” notes, and all other non-sense. Check out the photos below, since I cannot really describe how awesome the place is. It really is a good place to stay in and relax.

The Food: 2/5

I was really surprised to see their menu when I went there; there are only three choices for their food: honey bread, ciabatta, and waffle—and the waffle wasn’t even available when I went there. However, I enjoyed the honey bread they served. Although, it was a kind a little bit expensive for its size and the fact that it’s only toasted bread with honey and cream.

The Honey Bread (c)

The Drink: 2/5

I ordered their mocha hazelnut frappuccino, and it tastes really stale—like all water and little mocha and hazelnut. Their strawberry one also stated a little stale. I thought it was like made from ready-to-mix packs and they overdosed the mixture with water. I was really, really disappointed. I think the only plus size of the drink is that they serve them in big containers, other than that, they taste below average—or at least the ones I have tried. And I was really surprised that Cafe Noriter uses the word Frappuccino since it is a registered trademark of Starbucks Coffee Company. That can give them real trouble should Starbucks discover. The generic term for the drink is frappe; that’s why you can’t see other coffee shops using the word Frappuccino–Bo’s Coffee has Froccino, and CBTL has their Original Ice Blended Drinks.

Strawberry Something (c) KAYE | NI
Java Chip Frappe (c)
Vanilla Latte and Honey Bread (c) Patrick Gelsena
Vanilla Latte and Honey Bread (c) Patrick Gelsena

The Price: 2/5

Most of their rinks and food range from 150 to 180 pesos per serving. I once complained to a friend that I find Cafe Noriter expensive, and he pointed out I, most of the time, go to Starbucks and call Cafe Noriter expensive. Well, Starbucks offer different quality products in varying prices; Cafe Noriter offers their drinks in the same prices, and mind you, the taste is not really worth it for the price. I would be willing to pay that much of a price as long as the food and drinks are worth it as well, but from my experience, they weren’t.

Cafe Noriter Menu

The Staff and Service: 4/5

The people there were very friendly, and one was a bit attractive—the one with the neck kiss mark (it really was a kiss mark). Their service, though, is a little bit slow (to their defence, there were a lot of people when we went there, and it was the day of the earthquake, so there were some aftershocks and a little panicking as well). But generally, the people and the service were both okay for me.

All in all, I give 3/5 rating for the place. Mainly because of the place and the staff, but not for their food and drink and price. It is a good place to stay in and relax, but if you are looking for a place where you can enjoy great food and drink in a price that’s worth it, I suggest you go looking for a different place.


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