Acreage isn't easy to come by in Sydney's inner-west. So the urban farm and restaurant which officially opens on Monday at the former home of the Camperdown Bowling Club, naturally called Acre, will heavily plough its on-site produce theme.
"We want it to be like a farmer's table, and get to the point where every dish has an element of something grown here. Obviously it's early days for the garden, but the breakfast menu [which will kick off next weekend] will incorporate edible flowers across it," says Acre's head chef Gareth Howard.
Howard opened several Jamie's Italian restaurants in Britain for crusading chef Jamie Oliver before relocating to Australia to help steer the concept here. He admits he's excited about not overseeing an all-Italian line-up for a change. "There isn't a scrap of pasta, but I have put on a risotto; it felt like the sort of thing you'd want to eat straight out of a yoga studio," he says.
The brainchild of John Tully and Luke Heard, the consultants who developed the concept for The Greens in North Sydney, the 350-seat Acre is a farmer's table eatery, bar, takeaway and urban farm rolled into one. Howard jokes his old boss in the UK might be a little jealous: "Sustainable produce with a kitchen garden attached was absolutely Jamie's vision. I don't think he has that yet right alongside a restaurant."
Acre Eatery, 31A Mallet Street, Camperdown, acreeatery.com.au
Mon-Thur 12pm-3pm and 5pm-10pm; Fri-Sun 8am-3pm and 5pm-10pm