acre Farm & Eatery Opens in Burwood East
The highly-anticipated acre farm & eatery is now open, boasting an impressive rooftop farm, restaurant and café serving up sustainable produce grown on site. We were invited to experience the stunning new opening and way of the future of farm to table dining in the city. The acre team have created a space that fuses the farm with hospitality to create a unique food experience designed to engage, educate and inspire guests. The eastern suburbs has been "stepping it up" of late and acre farm and eatery is a brilliant new addition to the region.
Packed on a Saturday lunch, the place to be in the eastern suburbs.
Duck liver parfait was delicious perfect with a Pinot Noir.
At the forefront of the rooftop farm is group farm manager, Adrian Baiada, who is working toward creating sustainable practices under the Living Building Challenge TM. Adrian said: “We wanted a food growing space that people dining at acre could touch and smell and really experience where their food was coming from. This led to the design where access paths are integrated into the farm, coupled with an overall farm trail where people can wander around.”
The acre urban farm is currently growing 70 different types of produce and flowering plants; leafy greens, lettuces, rocket, Asian greens, herbs, tomatoes, capsicum, chilli, zucchini, artichoke, pumpkin, rhubarb, radish, passionfruit, oranges, mandarins, and flowers including sunflower, dahlias, salvia, foxglove, yarrow, cosmos and many more. Adrian Baiada adds: “Selecting produce best suited to the climate is the first step of successfully growing. Melbourne’s weather is really varied so we can grow a large range of produce.”
Charred mixed zucchini, whipped goats curd, dukkah was a wonderful dish with pleasant char and showcasing excellent produce.
My favourite dish is the Fritto misto, tartare, lemon, featuring crunchy fresh seafood. An example of food that is full of flavour but not overly "heavy".
Wine pairing is excellent with an exciting range of wines available including this Chockstone Grampains 2019 Riesling.
The delicious produce grown on site can be found in the likes of menu items including the acre glasshouse salad; the heirloom tomato and basil salad with pickled onion and balsamic, the charred mixed zucchini with whipped goats curd and dukkah and many more, all served up by executive chef Brad Simpson.
Roasted salmon, basil aioli, Israeli cous cous.featured standout Tasmanian salmon.
Vegetable lover? This is the place to be. Steamed vegetables delivered on excellent produce and some crunch.
To replicate a functioning farm that can recycle its own organic waste and turn it into powerful natural fertilisers Adrian created a quail farm which also provide eggs for the kitchen as well as creating a great educative experience for kids to learn about the diversity of acre’s feathered farm friends.
Tomato and caramelised onion tart is a popular dish at acre and also includes fior de bufala, local oil. A thin tart of excellence with flaky pastry.
Along with the tomato tart there's a brilliant Heirloom tomato and basil salad, pickled onion, balsamic.
Adrian’s family influence has helped fuel his love for sustainable farming: “My nunna Mary, along with my other grandparents who were market gardeners, blacksmiths and mushroom growers, have influenced myself and the ethos of the urban farm in some obvious and subtle ways. She loves flowers and she always says when you see a new flower bloom it’s like winning the lotto. Some of her favourite flowers are foxgloves and dahlias so I’ve scattered them all over the place as a way of connecting the farm to my food story and history, and honouring her and what she has done for me. Plus these beautiful plants attract the beneficial insects we need to create a healthy farm eco system.
A main course highlight is the Sher Wagyu rump 250g, MS6+, garlic herb butter, red onion marmalade. Melt in your mouth rump, recommended with chips or salad.
Service throughout was first class with John providing next level attention, advice and all round service.
The farm concept is not token. Says Adrian, “From a functioning perspective nunna Mary, along with my other grandparents, taught me the key to great growing and that’s always been giving back to the soil. And what we give back is what we take - organic matter - so on our acre farm we will be giving back in the form of manures (supplied by our friends from RSPCA), compost, worm castings and straw to constantly be building soil.”
Dessert featured Soft-centred chocolate fondant and a delightful souffle.
Diners at acre farm & eatery can learn more on the farm tours available, and can expect a full program of workshops and community events in the coming months to learn more about sustainable dining practices.
acre farm & eatery is part of Burwood Brickworks, developed by Frasers Property with a vision to create the world’s most sustainable retail centre by achieving global accreditation under the Living building Challenge TM. Highly recommended.