Ask For Fern.

This last Saturday, a few friends and I decided to spend the night at Ask for Fern – yet another addition to the city's throng of concept bars. Its theme centres around the whole speakeasy, blind tiger idea, and unsurprisingly it has become a big hit amongst the urban Colombo crowd. You didn't hear this from me, of course.

The Little Flower Shop 

How this whole adventure works is that you need to look for 'The Little Flower Shop' down the lane next to the Ramada. There's a gorgeous entrance, decked out to the brim in flowers and plant pots leading up to a light blue door. There you will see an older gent (always with a bowtie) who'll show you in. That's it, really.

The interior is minimally but tastefully decorated with buttoned tub-seats and large chintz sofas, so people can chill and let loose. The balcony area is a superb spot overlooking the street with iron-wrought chairs and tables for your comfort. It's a great place to have a smoke and vibe to the loud Euro-funk tunes blasting through the speakers. It's actually really dark inside, by the way- the lights are there just as an enhancement, not a necessity.

I took a liking to this place the minute I walked in, it's so beautiful and seems like the type of spot vampires go to have a drink. There are enough and more opportunities for photographs, like the bathroom for example. You'll see when you visit. 

Food and Drinks

There's a separate dining area that's a lot more quiet and bare in comparison to the actual bar. We wanted to order more than just this one dish, but our experience slowly started going downhill. More on that later, for now we'll look at the eats and drinks. 

The Serai Chicken (Rs. 750) is a bowl of about 7-8 chicken wings, tossed in a beautiful spice mix and glazed to high heaven. They're sticky, messy, juicy and so, soooo good. The lemongrass didn't quite come through, on account of all that sweet palm sugar syrup, but I'm really not complaining. 

I got myself a Coconut Cooler to kickstart this fun night (or so we thought) and the description said it was more than just King Coconut in a glass, but alas. There was supposed to be a dash of yuzu (Chinese Pomelo) but all I got was a heavy dash of ice cube. It cost Rs. 400 and its only redeeming quality was the fact that I can't say no to thambili.  The Murder on the Shanghai Express is an interesting one. It'll cost you a cool Rs. 1,300 and comes nestled in a novelty Chinese takeout container.

This one had plenty of subtle punch packed in it because it comes infused with kickers like ginger and star anise in Chinese black tea. What ties this whole thing together is the lemon, mint and gin addition. It all sounds delicious, but really all I tasted was a bland base with a whisper of ginger. Why? I don't know. As a classy kid, I used to poke a hole in achcharu bags and suck the leftover juice out. Nothing pleased me more than the chilli, salt and pickled fruit flavoured ecstasy I had the joy of experiencing. I was expecting the same with Fern's Boozy Achcharu (Rs. 1,000) but although it wasn't the same old taste, it came through.

Pineapple plays the starring role here, with a few notes of passion fruit as well. Ceylonese Arrack is infused into the whole drink giving you a nice little tingle and alcohol-y aftertaste. *Hic*

The Service

Whatever positive influence Ask for Fern had over us was overshadowed by their awful service. Our waiter hated us. We could see it in his eyes. We were four, appropriately dressed Sri Lankan humans with a reservation no less, so I don't know what the cause was for all this drama. At one point we saw the waitstaff throwing some serious side-eye. It got so bad that we had to ask the manager if there was a problem. 

But that's not the worst part. They've got two bouncers outside who eyed us up and down – highly inappropriately and refused to let one of the guys in. Why? Because they weren't dressed in a suit. That's right, you're supposed to be James Bond to get in – not a patron of a Sri Lankan bar, God no. At one point they started yelling, using condescending language and went so far as to yell 'get out.'

I'm not going to rant here, but this is unacceptable. I'd give their service a full zero. This is probably just one of those off-days but for a place that markets itself so well, something as important as service can't afford to be subpar. 


I'm considering going here again because I love the ambience, but the service really put a damper on our night. Here's hoping they fix things up a bit, so we don't get yelled at for dressing nice and behaving well. 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp




A flavorful journey to the North East by Paadum Meen

An ecstatically beautiful place located down Frankfort place, Bambalapitiya has caught a significant eye for

Highlights Kamu

Hummus Festival 2022 – Graze Kitchen by Hilton

By Shamrina Carim The stunning atmosphere Walking into this masterpiece designed by an excellent interior


A Luxury European Dining experience at 1864 Limited Edition

Ambience Intimate dining area for couples and friends Comfy lounge areas to sit and catch

Highlights Kamu

Pizza Hut – My Box Birizza Fever- review

By Sumaiya Jaleel Hurrah! Welcome back to your scrumptious feast. Pizza Hut has brought back

Highlights Kamu

The Hottest Food Fest of the Year: Eat Street Colombo

By Janani Vithanage After a 2 year (Covid induced break), Sri Lanka’s biggest, best food

Highlights Kamu

A Chocolate fantasy with Zeez Treatz

By MI The Yamu team was in for a massive sugar rush and sweet indulgence



Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo’s ColomBar moves to newly refurbished location

04 May2022, Colombo: Colombo’s iconic and stylish destination bar, ColomBar, has been re-located to its


Spreading Mother’s Day Love with Ramada Colombo

Treat your Mother to lavish lunch, and high tea buffets, sweet treats, and plush stays. 


Eid Staycation at Sheraton Kosgoda TurtleBeach Resort

By Janani Vithanage Heralded by the first sighting of the crescent moon, Eid-al-fitr, which translates


Eid Staycation at Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa

By Janani Vithanage Heralded by the first sighting of the crescent moon, Eid-al-fitr, which translates


Order your Ifthar Dinner via PickMe Food

By Hiruni Herath As Ramadan is a time of introspection and prayer, you can devote


7 Things you Should Know about Gotagogama

By Janani Vithanage Sri Lanka, internationally known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, is

Highlights Trending

Yamu Guide.

The Embazzy – a relaxing luncheon spot

By Hiruni Herath Service and Ambience Stepping into The Embazzy, it’s clear that the restaurant

Highlights Yamu Guide

What to expect at a Yala National Park Safari

Covering an extensive area of Southern and Uva Provinces, Yala is the second largest national

Yamu Guide

Everything you need at Online Kade

Located in the heart of Rajagiriya Online Kade also has a branch in Colombo 04

Yamu Guide

5 Co-working spaces in Colombo

By Tashia Ranasinghe Here are some more interesting places for all the digital nomads out

Highlights Yamu Guide

7 Buffets to Indulge In this Easter 2022

By Janani Vithanage As the youth of our nation make their voices heard, the birth

Yamu Guide

5 occasions to celebrate with Shirohana

By Rahma Rifkhar Okay, so, first question: Are you the colour-coordinated bullet journaling typa person

Highlights Yamu Guide