We visited on a Saturday lunchtime and Acre was packed, young families, couples, shoppers and dessert goers. Definitely make a booking if you are planning to go on the weekend.
Despite the crowd, due to the high ceilings and I suspect well-selected noise dampening material you could comfortably hear people at your table and hold a discussion without having to raise your voice.
The venue is light and airy and the use of natural building materials makes it feel very comfortable. The wines adorning the walls were all locally sourced Australian varieties and looking out the large windows you were faced with a thriving rooftop farm.
The farm was already well established given that when we were there it was only a couple of months old, sunflowers, pumpkins, vines, olive trees and a hydroponic greenhouse with thousands of seedlings growing too.
The farm produce is used to supplement the restaurant and all garnishes are sourced from the hydroponic shed or the farm.
The service was prompt and efficient and the food was beautifully done, packed with flavour and colour. A wide selection of vegetarian, seafood, pasta and meat dishes were available to choose from. The panna cotta dessert was an absolute highlight and I would sneak back in at any time of the day to have one with a coffee!
Throughout the day talks are hosted by the farmer who provides information on the farm and hydroponic setup.
Acre also runs fun and educational activities such as kids or twilight gardening sessions.
In the kids gardening the little ones will get to plant seeds, explore the worm farms, learn about the composting process and directly learn about the farm-to-plate process. It is very hands-on and informative.
Twilight Gardening includes a drink as well as a dessert at the end of the workshop. During the session, participants go on a treasure hunt for specific herbs, garnish their own drink with edible flowers from the farm, feed the quail, and explore the worm farms and hydroponics.
The Burwood Brickworks building that Acre is nestled on top of is also very special in that it is Green star rated and meets the Living Building Challenge standard. In short, this means that the designers, builders and sub-contractors have all had to go above and beyond to create a beautiful and sustainable building.
As part of the build, all excess building material was separated and recycled, all polystyrene collected to be re-purposed, a certain amount of recycled timber had to be included in the build to name a few of the requirements.
The roof design is aesthetically pleasing with a dogtooth design to maximise natural lighting and provide more roof space for solar panels which generate power for the onsite supermarket. The outside of the building is covered with a planting of potted trees and vines.
Perhaps the most interesting fact is that the site utilises treated stormwater in the cooling system, toilets and to irrigate the site. 60,000 litres a day can be processed using aquacell technology.
The day we went to have lunch at Acre the stormwater recycling will have been in full recycling mode making the most of the torrential downpour.
Overall a lovely and inspiring place to visit if you are in the Burwood area or looking for something a bit different to every day.
Sat & Sun 8am–5pm
Location: Burwood Brickworks, 70 Middleborough Road, Burwood East, Melbourne
Reservations: 0403 229 233