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Acre Eatery: A calming oasis in Sydney’s Inner West

Sydney’s Inner West is best known for its breweries and hipster hole-in-the-wall bars, but just five minutes from the hubbub of Central Station you’ll find this Hamptons-style restaurant and café surrounded by greenery.

Those familiar with Sydney’s sustainable food scene will no doubt be familiar with Camperdown Commons. This recently reinvigorated community hub provides a welcoming inclusive space for locals of all ages and walks of life. As well as meeting and event spaces, the community initiative also has a working urban farm, run by Pocket City Farms, which includes a community food forest, a chicken coop, a greenhouse and a community composting program.

On the same site as the Pocket City Farm lies Acre Eatery, this café and restaurant provides a welcoming respite from the city. Sipping a coffee or a glass of wine in the light and airy indoor space or on the outdoor terrace feels like you’re in a rural country town, not five minutes from the CBD.

Casual lunch or intimate dinner

Acre Eatery has three distinct dining venues. The Container is your go-to if you’re looking to grab a takeaway coffee or a quick bite while you wander around the grounds. Coffee is supplied by Gypsy Espresso and you can also pick up a freshly baked loaf of bread from Baked by Acre.

The Garden Terrace is two dining precincts – the upper terrace and the lower terrace – both surrounded by greenery. While The Dining Room is a beautifully light, wood-filled space ideal for a casual lunch or an intimate dinner.

Acre is also the perfect location for events, especially weddings. Easy to get to, but with a feel of being far from the city, weddings at Acre can be outdoor or indoors and are fully catered with a menu designed by Acre’s executive head chef, Gareth Howard.

Transparency, seasonality, traceability

The ethos behind Acre is to create consciousness about the effect of everyday food choices. To achieve this, Gareth Howard has put together a menu focused on transparency, seasonality and traceability. As well as using herbs and edible flowers from the on-site farm, Acre supports and partners with a small collection of local producers who are passionate about their products.

“Our produce is sourced from two or three local organic NSW farms based in Blue Mountain’s and Windsor”, says Howard. “All seafood we use is from Australia, with NSW being the preference, and all proteins are sourced directly from free-range or pasteurised hormone-free regenerative farms”.

Acre offers a set menu as well as a la carte options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast favourites include the truffled scrambled duck eggs and the farmhouse egg benedict. For lunch or dinner, even non-vegans will love the slow cooked pumpkin with fried Brussel sprouts, tahini, yogurt and chilli.

And, the drinks menu follows the same sustainable principles. Beer is crafted locally and every bottle of wine is sourced from wine makers in Australian and New Zealand who prioritise organic-biodynamic methods.

As well as its community and sustainable food focus, Acre is also focussed on energy efficiency. They are installing a huge solar-panelled roof which will generate around 30% of the venue’s power consumption. There’s also a 70,000-litre rainwater tank sunk under the lawn to capture rainwater for irrigation, and a large recycling program to minimise landfill waste.

Where?

Website: www.acreeatery.com.au

Address: 31A Mallett St, Camperdown 2050 NSW

When?

Friday | 6pm – 11pm

Saturday | 10am – 11pm

Sunday | 10am – 4pm

Jennifer Gaskin
Jen is obsessed with both food and travel. She believes that the way we explore the world, and our own backyards, can have a profoundly positive effect on the planet and its people. Her favourite things to do are explore far-flung corners of the globe, eat as many different types of food as possible and work up a sweat in the boxing ring!