I am happy to be proven wrong but in my opinion, a star has fallen amongst Sydney’s café scene. April and I have been to The Fern numerous times before (review 1, 2, 3) including for dinner but now with a menu change and what appears to be a dwindling customer base, I’m not sure what the future holds.
While the service from the lone waitress was reasonable enough, the fact that her other staff had not turned up and that it took about five minutes to calculate the bill did not help. The only consolation is that this was on a public holiday. I was very disappointed though to see that the breakfast menu is a shadow of its former self, comprising seven dishes. Only cash is accepted however that is hopefully a short term restriction…
The coffee ($3) barely justifies a mention unfortunately. Weak and not enjoyable at all.
The freshly squeezed juice (regular $5, large $7) available today was orange (as the apples had not yet arrived). Fresh it was, although not cold at all.
I thought a toastie was a jaffle/pressed sandwich while my guest thought it would be an open sandwich. The bacon and cheese, bacon and egg or salami and cheese toastie ($5 each) at The Fern is instead based on a small, quite sweet, soft bun. Our bacon and cheese example was reasonable. The bacon was nice and thick but because of the bun, it was overall a bit too sweet.
With no more corn fritters or Fern’s Benedict and very few other items, I was worried for a second that I would not find any remnants of my favourite dishes. Luckily the pulled pork still exists as one of the sides that can be added to the eggs “your way” ($8). The eggs are served with toast and you can add any of the sides including smoked pork belly, bacon, pulled pork ($3.50 each), avocado, beans ($2.50 each) or smoked salmon ($4.50).
I enjoyed the pulled pork but it didn’t wow me like it used to. I was happy with the eggs and overall presentation though.
It’s obvious that I left feeling very flat and can only hope that things turn around quickly for The Fern. If you have been recently, what did you think?
Overall Rating: 14.5/25
Website: http://www.thefern.com.au/ and http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fern-Food-And-Drink/233571256683243
Phone: 8399 0070
Address: 4 Pitt Street, Redfern, 2016
Payment Options: Cash only
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