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Acre Eatery and Its 2000-Square-Metre Urban Farm Are Now Open on a Shopping Centre Rooftop

It's growing over 70 different plant varieties, many of which you'll see on the menu at the adjoining restaurant.
By Libby Curran
December 11, 2019
By Libby Curran
December 11, 2019

Sometimes life in the big smoke can leave you feeling a little disconnected from where your food came from. But there's little chance of that happening at the newly launched Acre Farm & Eatery. You'll find this hotly-anticipated, 2000-square-metre urban farm and restaurant sitting atop the just-opened Burwood Brickworks, helping the precinct push towards its goal of being the world's most sustainable shopping centre.

Run by the same minds behind Sydney's Acre Eatery, a farm-to-table restaurant, Acre is designed to educate and inspire its visitors, while putting them back in touch with the terroir of their food. It's an openair rooftop space, where you're encouraged to wander through the plants, and touch and smell the growing produce. Right now, the farm's home to 70 different plant varieties, ranging from flowers like dahlias, salvia and foxglove to tomatoes, leafy greens, passionfruit and rhubarb.

It's a carefully selected mix, chosen not just to get as much produce as possible, but also to be showcased across the menu of the adjoining cafe and restaurant. Here, Executive Chef Brad Simpson (Lamaros, The Smith) is turning out a menu that's every bit as fresh and nourishing as you'd expect. After all, you can grab a sunny window seat overlooking the farm and tuck into ingredients just metres away from where they were grown.

You might find plates like creamy stracciatella served with a smoked tomato compote and fresh focaccia, roasted salmon teamed with basil aioli, or slow-roasted pork hock starring fennel, lovage and apple. If you want to try it all, the restaurant also offers three banquets, which range from the very reasonably priced $40 Intro to the seven-dish Feed Me fpr $70 a head.

And while the rooftop farm's not big enough to handle all of the kitchen's food supply, any remaining ingredients are being sourced from a crop of top Victorian suppliers. Sticking with the local-is-best mentality, the food's served alongside an all-Victorian wine offering featuring drops like Ingram Road's pinot noir out of the Yarra Valley and Central Victoria's Sibling Rivalry sauvignon blanc.

Elsewhere on the rooftop farm, a quail coop provides both eggs for the kitchen and fertiliser for the gardens, sustainable composting systems help the plants thrive and a careful selection of flowers feeds all those important insects. And stay tuned for a program of workshops, tours and other hands-on green thumb experiences.

Find Acre Farm & Eatery at 78 Middleborough Road, Burwood East. It's open 5.30–10pm Wednesday–Thursday, 11.30am–10pm Friday–Saturday and 11.30am–4pm Sunday.

Published on December 11, 2019 by Libby Curran
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