When I was young, we used to go to this place in Holland Village in Singapore for some zi char. It wasn’t that the place was super special or anything but we typically had the same dishes and were used to it. It’s now taken over by a food court-ish type place but we used to always get some venison and tofu with egg on a hot plate and some misc veg. Anyway, long story short, it was situated along Lorong Liput. However, I had or perhaps my parents had some obsessive desire to call it Lorliput in reference to Gulliver’s Travels. A Singaporeanization for little rhyme or reason.

But the real story has got scant anything to do with some obscure and pointless childhood memory other than the name. The title of my post is the name of a cafe in Bondi, owned in part by a Japanese friend of mine.

The cafe is a small place, located in a residential zone in Bondi and quite a ways from the beach. There’s plenty other cafes about 100m away on a busier part of the street but Liliputien still manages to stand out. Whether its in the slightly mangled Janglish spelling for Phun Jabi Chai or that they claim to make things with <3 or in the awesome pieces of pottery used as serving dishes. The coffee is a mean brew and they offer a small selection of pastries. The main draw is my friend’s “baby” as he puts it, the croissant. On first inspection, it seems a tad overbaked, sitting in a cutesy wooden edged, glass cabinet. Yet when I bite into it, my unease was swept away. It’s so crispy on the outside, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was deep fried. Yet the very centre remains delightfully moist and fluffy. It’s a damn good croissant and I don’t really care if there are that much better in France or wherever. The same could be said of his sweet sourdough toast. Superbly moist inside and it’s all because everything’s baked on the day itself, right before my mate heads down to school. When he finishes up, he’s right back in the cafe as well so that’s dedication for you.

The interior of the shop shows off his kookier side, with an LP of The Sound of Music sitting on a shelf and the burlap coffee sacks adorning the walls. It feels very cosy and easy to relax in. I must say, I know the guy and all but not all that well. His cafe though, is a wonderful little place that has a guy running it that will probably go onto bigger and better things. I honestly rate the stuff on offer really well and I’d go as far as to say that most other cafes in Sydney suck in comparison.

Lilliputien
112 O’Brien Street
Bondi NSW 2026

Directions: From Bondi Beach itself, look for the Platypus store. It’s on the corner of Roscoe Street and Campbell Parade. Walk up Roscoe Street, which filters onto O’Brien Street and keep walking up for another 5 minutes till you see this green leaf thingamajig on the front of a shop.

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