In the heart of Sydney, there’s about an acre of land that allows you to return to your roots. This little urban oasis was created with the intention of reconnecting city slickers with the produce they eat, and hopefully, changing the way they think about food.
Having both owned hospitality ventures before, it’s the first joint venue for John Tully and Luke Heard, and one born out of passion and necessity. Luke found inspiration in an unusual place: within the pages of an in-flight magazine, where he read about the food security crisis that would see food stocks run out by 2050. He delved deeper, realising that the fix wasn’t just about producing more food, but about making the process more sustainable.
Driven by a vested interest in the future of sustainable food in Australia, Luke joined Pocket City Farms, who operate the adjoining farm land next to acre. Once the venue was secured, the team set about creating an immersive dining experience, transforming sustainable produce into creative and exciting dishes packed full of flavour, all set within a broader community space operated by Camperdown Commons.
UK-born Executive Chef, Gareth Howard, brings equal passion for ethically sourced and nutritious food to the kitchen table, boasting several years working for the esteemed Jamie Oliver brand both in the UK and in Sydney.
As a result, acre boasts a truly seasonal menu, prioritising sustainable produce from the on-site Pocket City Farms, with the balance sourced from a collection of local small to medium-sized farms. Meats are sustainably sourced from Vic’s Meats, and the kitchen team uses secondary cuts and offcuts wherever possible to minimise the restaurant’s footprint. acre also strives for ‘closed loop’ dining, focusing on composting, recycling and reducing water use.
Starters are simple yet flavoursome, spanning the likes of smoked potted fish with garden vegetable crudités, to charred octopus salad with grains, herbs and almonds. There are a variety of vegetarian options thanks to a flourishing garden, and mains cover everything from spring zucchini and pea risotto, to charred Wagyu rump with garden béarnaise and roasted bone marrow. Meanwhile, share-sized plates of slow-roasted porchetta or roast chicken are definite crowd pleasers.
acre’s cocktail menu is equally dreamy, utilising their very own fresh fruit, herbs, spices and quality spirits. Try the Earl Grey Bees Knees – a unique blend of earl grey-infused gin, honey, lemon and egg white. In keeping with acre’s sustainable ethos, there’s a neat selection of Australian and New Zealand wine, as well as local craft beer and cider.
At acre the vibe is relaxed, yet perfectly polished. The eatery is designed to reflect a farmer’s home: practical and tactile, warm and intimate. The light- filled space is home to rustic wooden tables, vibrant greenery and plush, white Hamptons-style booths. Brightly coloured, textural dishes pop against the backdrop of speckled ceramic tableware, natural tree boards and neutral table settings, while plates are garnished lovingly with colourful edible flowers.
Take a seat at the laid-back eatery, inspired by the authenticity, warmth and simplicity of the country: dine on the patio overlooking the kitchen garden, or make the most of Sydney’s sunshine and take your food out to the grassy outdoor area. However you enjoy the experience, you’ll leave acre feeling just that bit more grounded.