Unfurling Fern Coffee House

by Runi Cholid
20th May 2022
Hidden away in Pondok Labu, Fern Coffee House invites customers to make themselves at home with its open-air seating and simple delights, from unconventional caffeine blends to local bites and pastries.

A middle-aged European man in loungewear, a group of matcha-loving international school students and a lively bunch of chattering parents walk into a coffee shop. Don’t wait for a punchline, that’s just the common description of a normal day’s traffic of diverse regulars at Fern Coffee House.

Slightly hidden away on a quiet street in Pondok Labu, Fern put down its roots within an old family vacation home owned by one of its three founders, fondly known to their friends as Ruli, Deka and Acoy. While the house-turned-compound space also hosts a number of offices alongside the coffee shop, its homey blueprint remains intact, a nice perk that Fern gladly takes advantage of.

With its verdant yard, terrace chairs (once a staple among Indonesian homes during the 80s and 90s) and tree deck, a cuppa at Fern is to be enjoyed like a much-needed caffeine boost at the comfort of one’s own home. And at the coffee house, there’s no shortage of drinks to sample.

Asian Royal Fern takes the spotlight with its striking mix of coffee, juice and soda; it makes for a refreshing mocktail that goes down easily, perhaps even a little too easily for such strong coffee. Also well-loved are the Pandan Latte and Matcha, each one boasting its own subtle twists to classic recipes. With a heavy emphasis on the blending and crafting of their drinks, the menu at Fern veers towards refreshing pick-me-ups on a sunny day. 

Here, lounging on a terrace chair with a drink in hand and a snack on the other feels like the right thing to do. Fern offers a compilation of light bites sourced from the city’s home industries, with options ranging from local bites like Siomay and pastries such as Croffin. And with a selection of meals by Japanese eatery Okujō, lunch and dinner options are not to be overlooked. 

It’s easy to see how one would lose track of time in the relaxing flow of Fern. After all, why would one rush home when the coffee house already feels like one?