Quail coops, a vertical strawberry garden and a glasshouse are just a few of the features Acre Farm & Eatery will have when it opens on the rooftop of the Frasers Property-owned Burwood Brickworks shopping centre in December.
Headed up by chef Brad Simpson (ex-The Smith) and manager Nick Peters (Mamasita), with Joost Bakker as creative consultant, the sustainable cafe, restaurant and farm is set to be one of the largest urban agricultural projects in Australia.
As well as the all-day cafe (inside the glasshouse), restaurant and bar, and an events space tucked into an olive grove, there will be 2500 square metres of garden beds planted with citrus trees, flowers and vegetables, plus and a henhouse and beehive. A farmer's shed will host workshops on pickling, fermenting and cheesemaking.,
The kitchen garden won't be big enough to completely sustain the cafe and restaurant, but what can't be grown on site will be sourced from Victorian growers and producers who share a similar ethos, such as Western Plains. A slow-roasted knuckle of their pork will pop up in a dish alongside fennel, apple and lovage.
Other dishes will include tomato and caramelised onion tart with handmade burrata, and charred zucchini salad with whipped goat's curd and dukkah.
"There isn't too many of these sorts of restaurants in Australia – especially not on the rooftops of shopping centres in cities," says Simpson. "Where else can you pull something out of the ground, cook it and put it on a plate less than 20 minutes from your house?"
Acre Farm & Eatery will open at Burwood Brickworks, 78 Middleborough Road, Burwood East, in early December. acrefarmeatery.com.au