Espresso, Italiano & Americano at Redfern's hot new cafe
There’s a frenzy of activity happening in and around Cleveland Street of late: first came hot-as-caliente Argentinean restaurant Porteno, then groovy eco-boutique I Ran The Wrong Way, leafy café Twig and uber-hipster bar The Norfolk. Now there’s another notable addition in The Fern, a café in a sprawling terrace with a dream front courtyard and a retro theme that crafts its own bespoke style.
Walk past the iron gate and up the sandstone steps, and there’s a sprawling stone outdoor space surrounded by red-flowering greenery, scattered with objects like an old suitcase, mower and iron rooster, and partially shaded by tall palm trees. It’s an ideal place to enjoy some solid pours of Gravity coffee.
When the weather’s foul, head through the French doors into the stylish indoor space, laden with vintage trunks as tables, retro chairs and a golden press-metal counter. The retro-meets-recycled them also means walls decorated with Mad magazine covers, “Spy vs Spy” illustrations, street art photos and liquor boxes, plus menus plastered onto old vinyl records, and McWilliam’s port and sherry jugs used as water dispensers.
The menu seems influenced by Italy, as well as American diner food, so at one moment you can be tucking into huevos rancheros or a lamb & goat’s cheese ‘Fernburger’, and the next into a spicy nduja pork pate with Sonoma sourdough and ricotta or housemade fettuccine with veal and parmesan meatballs. The Italian flavours come from consultant chef Massimo Bianchi, who formerly headed the kitchen at Sydney’s top-rated Italian eatery, Buon Ricordo, and most recently The Ivy’s Uccello.
The food will get even more fluent in Italian soon, once licensing comes through and night-time aperitivo are added. The owners say to expect affordable plates that can be enjoyed with a Peroni or a digestivo of Aperol. That should be enough to keep the locals lingering past sunset, enjoying the newest hotspot on their home turf.
Where: 4 Pitt St, Redfern
Tel: 0410 705 093
Hours: 8am-5pm, 7 days