The Fernside Coffee Shoppe is one of those places with an uncanny sense of déjà vu about it: the waiter greets you with a friendly ‘how are ya’ and leans in close to take your order, you gradually forget you’re in a public place (and begin to speak a little too comfortably with friends) and you leave already feeling like a regular. Fernside, cheekily distancing itself from the neighbouring Surry Hills, isn’t revolutionising the café concept. But what they do, they do damn well, and that’s all I really want before the hour of noon anyway.
The food has the 2010 (postcode) touch - homemade tomato relish with the bacon and egg roll, haloumi with the corn fritters -but it ain’t too fancy, with prices to match. This is definitely a big plus, nothing rubs me up the wrong way more than having to pay $23 for a scrambled egg or two and a tomato. The coffee is super smooth, and there is an array of delectable looking homemade cakes and biscuits if you want to stop for a fika. The inside has a stark, industrial theme going on with surprisingly soaring ceilings but is made aesthetically pleasing by the beautiful fonts. Someone clearly has a love of design here, the chalk-board menu is magazine worthy.
It’s far enough from the Crown Street strip that you won’t have to be eyeballed by someone who looks way too carefully put-together for 9am, but is still close to everything. An eclectic mix of tunes constantly playing is the honey on the bircher. Let’s hope this unpretentious little place stays just as it is.