Positive news from Croydon this week. I finally visited Fern, located opposite East Croydon railway station, and it is truly a haven of modern European small plates.
It beautifully illustrates what restaurants should be in 2023.
The food, staff and decor are all on point.
First dates, birthdays, meetings – all of the above were happening during my visit – which shows that locals, and perhaps out-of towners, have taken it to their hearts in the near six months since opening.
From the same stable as Mr Fox in Surrey Street, Fern has hired the right people to run its operation.
The high ceilings, great lighting and bright interior create an atmosphere that the diner wants to be in and doesn’t want to leave.
I was in situ for nearly two hours before looking at the time.
Thanks so much to J for making my friend and I feel so welcome. And to G for furnishing us with ordering advice: three small plates per person. He then suggested choosing for us, which I loved.
I like leaving the decisions to someone else and leaving my comfort zone.
Sweet potato gnocchi, with wild mushroom, carrot puree, blew us away.
Raw rainbow carrot, Mooli & radish salad was an adventure for my friend and I, but a rewarding one.
Toasted peanuts, beansprouts, red quinoa, coriander, soy & sesame dressing created memorable flavours.
“It wasn’t a dish I would normally go for but I’m so pleased I did,” she said.
The menu is split into sections – plant, sea and land – catering for all dietary needs.
My friend is vegan so this was useful.
I liked the fact that it wasn’t difficult to eat healthily here.
Sea Bream Ceviche, with pomegranate, coriander, grapefruit, chilli made for a particularly fresh and seasonally appropriate dish.
Baked scallops were suggested by G but no call from anyone at our table for it.
I loved Cornish Crab Cakes, served with Asian slaw, chipotle, and dill aioli.
Similarly, great care is taken with cocktail making, whether including alcohol or the virgin route.
I tried a virgin margarita, which was fabulous.
Dessert wasn’t in our plan but we were swayed by the Chocolate Bomb – sorry if that’s not what it was called – served with a hot cherry sauce poured over the mound to the point of detonation.
This may just be my sweet flavour combination of the moment.
Is it me or are cherries everywhere at the moment? They must be in season.
The restaurant slogan is ‘from dawn until dusk’, and breakfast looks like a hearty affair.
I can’t wait to try it.
Fern,100a George Street, Croydon, CR0 1GP.
Subscribe to Blog via Email
Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.
Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:
“A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or, please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ