"Poached eggs, smoked bacon, bacon gravy over english muffins" have I got your attention now? Because seeing that description on a breakfast menu certainly did, and boy did it get my heart in a flutter. But we'll get to that again later. Weekend Breakfasts are definitely our forte here at The Empty Fridge and boy do we love them. The more interesting, the better and everything about The Fern has grabbed my attention thats for sure. It is another eatery located in the up and coming fipster (foodie hipster) mecca of Redfern.
Gone are the days of Redfern being a rough and tumblesome neighborhood, dining precincts are popping up around the 'hood and what better way to spend a Saturday morning than getting to know a great new venue. Of course we start our mid-day (thank you weekend sleep-ins) with standard piccolo latte's. The freshly roasted Gravity Espresso blends from Melbourne add some cool coffee cred to The Fern, and of course a good caffeine fix is just what we coffee fiends need to get cracking.
Things slow down once the coffee comes, and I do believe it's a tactic to get everyone calm down and enjoy the quirky surroundings. Taking advantage of some recent sunshine we prop ourselves in the courtyard and spot as many mini chairs and random objects we can find. The restaurant could just be mistaken for any small terrace in the area if it wasnt for the bustling customers dropping by. The "front yard" is quaint and leafy with added pops of colour from the mini chairs - super nostalgic for those childhood days when i'd actually fit into one of those kindy seats! Mis-matched furniture, vines and herbs growing and even a little chilli bush is quite a relaxing surrounding and fipster points for having issues of Vice and Acclaim magazines on hand.
Now here's what we came here for.. the food. Grab on to your screens folks and behold The Fern Benedict. An English Muffin topped with two poached eggs, thick cut smoked bacon rashers and BACON GRAVY. Forget about your standard eggs boring-dict, this slaps it right in the face.
Oozy Egg. If this dish sounds a bit too sinful for you, don't fret. This breakfast dish is not just about the shock value, but very delicious also. The Bacon gravy isn't overpowering at all, and reminds me of a thin pasta carbonara sauce when the egg is mixed into it. Very very tasty - and that bacon? Thick rashers of bacon is the healthier bacon option right?
The Fern offers a great breakfast selection, but on the flipside - have some awesome lunch dishes too. Since we were on the brunch cusp, a burger for "breakfast" is not frowned upon here at the empty fridge. Legends have it that it's how Chuck Norris starts his day anyway.. Demos didnt consider anything else on the menu as soon as he saw this name - "The Thundercat Burger"($16) with a beef patty, pickled capsicum, cheese and a special tangy sauce.
Thick cut crispy fries for brekky? We'll its just like a hash brown..
Big call on Demos' part for saying that this goes on the favorite burgers list - a perfectly cooked patty, warm sweet bun, and an out of the ordinary sauce combination makes it a winner. Chuck Norris would approve on this one.
With gorgeous surrounds like this in the heart of the city it's quite hard to leave. This was one time where we broke the sweet/savory breakfast rule (one gets a sweet brekky dish, the other gets a savory, then we swap halfway..)Rock paper scissors couldn't decide this one. Rightly so, because both our picks were so tasty. We peruse the menu for something sweet and The Fern has some pear and butterscotch pancakes on offer too. The cocktail menu is admittedly inviting and word is the head barista is an ex- Cafe Pacifico cocktail maestro (you hear that name and surely you think back to their deadly margaritas!) Unfortunately it was a tad too early for tequila (even we have our standards..)Demos has his heart set on his favourite dessert so we bid adieu to The Fern for the day. What a great food start, thats for sure!
The Fern is open for dinner and drinks every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6-10pm and for Tuesday to sunday brunch conveniently from 9am to 3pm. And yes, pancakes are served til 3.
Now to soothe the sweet tooth. It would take a severe craving to pass up the pear and butterscotch pancakes at The Fern - but everyone has a favourite. For Demos, it is the Dessert trifle at Bloodwood in Newtown. And since it was close enough to mid-day we could most definitely have a cheeky cocktail. The Escantador sparkling ($11) has some fresh kiwi fruit with Zubrowka vodka, contreau, lime juice and our favourite escanciador apple cider.
Demos is quite the strategy man. He orders the dessert tasting plate, knowing that I would be distracted with the smaller serves of the other desserts so he could get stuck into his trifle. The dessert sampler ($23) consisted of smaller samples of the Bloodwood cheesecake with biscuit crumbs and fresh strawberries, and a white chocolate parfait with candied fruit and chocolate crunch.
The Bloodwood trifle ($12 on its own) is chock a block with mandarin segments, fluffy buttery pound cake, honeycomb anglaise, creamy vanilla bean yoghurt and a port wine jelly - a cup of goodness. We have had many of the bloodwood trifle variations (with seasonal fruits, a different alcoholic jelly, a vanilla flavoured creme anglaise..) but this combination was a winner, and they definitely took a delicious dessert to another level of awesome. So much so that Demos refused to share all but 3 spoonfuls of the trifle. Until next time Bloodwood.
Sunshine is slowly coming back into our lives folks so we hope you enjoy it in either of these sunny courtyards - no doubt you'll have a happy weekend and hopefully a mid-day cocktail in hand! Until the next post empty fridgers.
The Fern, Redfern - www.thefern.com.au
Bloodwood, Newtown - http://www.bloodwoodnewtown.com