Post originally published here.

I moved to Leichhardt just over a month ago. This is where my dad grew up and he has often lead me and my family on little jaunts of nostalgia down Norton Street.

The Jolly Cafe is one such business dad has pointed out to us.  Situated on Norton Street a block or two away from the main shopping and restaurant strip it used to be a fresh fish shop. Aside from the big ex display windows you wouldn’t know it.

When my friend and I decided to check out the restaurant recently it stood out as a respite against the rainy overcast sky with its warm inviting colour scheme of red walls and wooden furniture.

We shared the olive bruschetta, much like your average bruschetta however with an olive paste under the tomatoes which were marinated in garlic. Very morish! Included on the entree menu was an interesting dish called chilli, cheese and honey bread, we didn’t get to it but will have to try it next time.

My friend sipped on Merlot while I had the Cab Sav, both delicious drops of red.

For mains I chowed down on the spaghetti marinara which came with king prawns, calamari, fish fillets and mussels in a white wine and napolitana sauce, a must if you enjoy sea food. My friend had the spinach ricotta ravioli in a creamy tomato sauce.  The serving sizes are very generous, we couldn’t eat another bite which is a bummer because the dessert menu including among other delights, gelato, assorted cakes and affogato.

The Jolly Cafe is normally a very busy restaurant and the atmosphere can be quite noisy. It has never been an issue to me because the staff are extremely accommodating and the service quick and stress free. My family have never had to wait in the past even on a Friday or Saturday night sans booking.

Jolly Cafe and Restaurant
158 Norton Street, Leichhardt
(02) 9560 2434

Price – $15-25 for mains