Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Filling up at The Fern

I find it odd that there are virtually no petrol stations in the Sydney CBD. The price of land and rent probably has a lot to do with it, but still, if you run out of fuel anywhere in the city, you're a bit stuffed - until you get to Redfern or about that distance from the city.

Inside The Fern, Pitt Street, Redfern
This particular Saturday morning, we'd headed to Redfern with empty tanks (stomachs) and came out stuffed. Breakfast at The Fern is no light affair with the likes of pulled pork and smoked pork belly as sides on the menu.

Menus at The Fern
On a sunny mid-morning, the front courtyard is a popular dining area, but there's lots of space inside at tables next to the big, newspaper-strewn communal table.

A couple of record covers are brought over to us, revealing paper menus stuck inside - one side showing breakfast options and the other, lots and lots of booze for the evening bar trade.

Pink grapefruit juice (back) and cappuccino (front)
The Gravity coffee is made with care and tastes like mornings should. The large fresh juice at $7 a pop is definitely on the pricey side, but we're entertained by the gigantic ice cube in the glass, keeping things cool.

Poached eggs with avocado, beans and smoked pork belly
Eggs are the breakfast default and reasonably priced here, even with a few sides on board. Poached is the way to go since I still struggle to make them at home and given they're the healthier option.

The beans are gorgeous home-made baked beans with a refreshing burst of tomato flavour, while the thick cut smoked pork belly has a colour just like bacon. It's equally salty, very tender with a line of fat - and just a little underwhelming as I wasn't expecting something so similar to bacon.

Corn fritter with pulled pork, avocado salsa and goat's cheese
The mammoth-sized corn fritter is something to behold. For starters, the fritter itself is about the size of an adult head. Then, it's topped with loads of saucy pulled pork that smells way too tempting for breakfast. On top of the pork, chunks of avocado and goat's cheese are scattered along with wild rocket leaves.

The first bite is impressive: the dough's not too floury  and has a just-cooked texture while there's plenty of juicy corn kernels to keep it sweet and interesting. The pork is pretty heavy; lightly sweet with subtle spices and the occasional hit of coriander. The perfectly ripe avocado, and more so goat's cheese add to the richness and before too long, it's all too much.

About one-third of the way through, the flavours just become too same-same. Every mouthful becomes a Groundhog Day of the last mouthful, which makes me think serving the pork and other bits on the side would be a better option.

The bar at The Fern
We manage to finish both gigantic dishes and can barely roll up to the bar to pay. The bar is pretty inviting, even in my stuffed state and during the day, so we vow to come back one Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening to fill up - this time on drinks at The Fern.

The Fern on Urbanspoon


chocolatesuze said...

i want a corn fritter the size of my head! mmm pork and corn and avo sounds perfect

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I live so close to this I should really pay this a visit!

rockahenry said...

i hate the no petrol station close to the cbd thing either... i find myself going all the way out kensington!

the butter is calling me

JasmyneTea said...

Mmmm, giant corn fritters... And pulled pork for breakfast, yeah!

Corinne @ Gourmantic said...

That's a huge brekkie! It would have filled up breakfast AND lunch.

Richard Elliot said...

The food looks great in the photos, but no one likes a a Groundhog Day dish....

In random petrol station news, there is one near Broadway that is pretty handy..

missklicious said...

Yum! I want giant corn fritters

Vivian - vxdollface said...

That is one huge fritter :D cutesy tea jugs?

Tina said...

Hi Suze - Yup, could have face planted right into that thing and not touched the plate...!

Hi Lorraine - Definitely. Next time you have a pulled pork craving ;)

Hi rockahenry - I think Redfern is closer, but I guess it depends where you're going...

Hi JasmyneTea - Definitely not a fruit and cereal kinda brekky, though I think they do have museli.

Hi Corinne - It sure did...!

Hi Richard - Oooh, do you mean sort of heading towards the Fish Markets...?

Hi missklicious - Yes, the giant bit was the only problem...

Hi Vivian - Yep, and I somehow managed to eat the entire thing!

Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said...

I tend to go for poached eggs as well as I am far from perfecting my egg-poaching "skills"!

As for that corn fritter - my thoughts exactly - it looks at least the size of my head *faint*

Tina said...

Hi Rita - My poached eggs turn out more like egg soup :(


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