Little Devil Cakes & Bakery

Isobel Yeap reviews the dingy bakery you've walked past a million times but never bought anything from.

Photo: Eliza Waterhouse

Photo: Eliza Waterhouse

Little Devil Cakes & Bakery is a tiny shop on Broadway, Glebe that sells below average cakes for very little amounts of money. You walk in and the first thing you notice is that there is a festive red sign hanging from the ceiling which reads ‘We love chicken’. Hanging adjacent to this sign is a row of red Chinese lanterns. On the other side of the shop is a stack of wire baskets filled with an array of random pamphlets. The rest of the shop is crowded with fridges of drinks.

Today I walked in an introduced myself to the salesperson, asking if she could tell me something about Little Devil: “For example, why did you call this place Little Devil?” Having never been a journalist before, I’m not sure if the done thing to do is to march in and ask a random salesperson for the history of the establishment. In retrospect, my interview technique was low yield. The salesperson looked at me in a confused way and said, “We sell cakes.” Then another customer turned to me and said, “I come here all the time to buy the Vietnamese pork rolls. They’re only five dollars! You should buy the pork roll.” I thanked him, and decided to order three cakes.

Before reviewing Little Devil’s cakes, I would like to point out that their pork rolls are indeed very good, and at $5 very affordable.

Before reviewing Little Devil’s cakes, I would like to point out that their pork rolls are indeed very good, and at $5 very affordable. In fact, everything in the shop is very affordable. My three cakes came to $6.60. Also, the brownies are pretty good, particularly for $2.00. Nowhere else in Glebe can you buy a brownie for $2.00, so if you’re short on cash and not that fussy about your desserts, Little Devil is the place for you.

I have actually been to Little Devil three times in my life, and all out of loyalty to my friend, Pat. Once, Pat went to Little Devil to buy a Vietnamese pork roll and he left his driver’s licence there. Little Devil then mailed it back to him in an envelope. Amazing! So overcome was Pat with gratitude that he decided to go back to the bakery constantly, despite their non-pork-roll produce ranging between ‘average’ and ‘crap’.

Today, I tried three different cakes. The first was a spinach and cheese croissant. It was literally a croissant stuffed with a roll of wilted spinach and a thin layer of melted cheddar cheese. I actually like eating pastry covered in cheese (for example, in a quiche or in a cheese stick), but eating sweet pastry covered in cheese was weird, and the lump of spinach in the middle was wet and difficult to chew. The second cake I ate was the marble cake. Do not order the marble cake. I took one bite and thought it had been cut with a knife covered in garlic. Then I realised that the cake just tasted terrible, and a little like garlic. I have no idea what was in that cake. Third, I ate the coconut tart. It was a ball of desiccated coconut mixed with some sugar and maybe a little flour, then stuffed into a pastry tart. I didn’t like the pastry much, so I pulled it off and stared at the funny-looking ball of coconut, wearing a little hat of jam. Then I tried to eat it. It was very hard and very dry. I ate it though and it was enjoyable in the same way that it is enjoyable to pick at a bag of desiccated coconut while watching television.

I ate these cakes in the park with Pat, who was thoroughly enjoying his pork roll while I winced and gagged at my desserts. We discussed how kind and thoughtful the staff of Little Devil were to post him his licence so many months ago. Then we admired his salvaged licence in the dwindling afternoon light, now slanted behind the purple cabbages of Victoria Park, now glinting off my cakes’ foil.

 

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