Recently, my family organised a reunion with our relatives from Singapore. The last time my relatives visited, they dined at Acre Eatery in Camperdown. They liked it enough to visit for a second time, and this time, the kids were invited.
Acre Eatery focuses on wholesome and healthy food, with the goal of changing the way people consume food. They prioritise sustainable produce from their on-site partner, Pocket City Farms, with whom they share the site with. They work together to develop a “closed-loop” operation with the goal of sustainable growing and consumption of food.
The interior or the restaurant has a farmhouse feel to it. The exposed wooden supports, wood panel flooring and simple furniture transport you to a restaurant you might find on a large-acreage farm on the outskirts of Sydney.
There have been attempts throughout the restaurant to remind the diners of Acre Eatery’s farm-to-table philosophy and wholesome food mentality.
The tableware at Acre is also quaint and very fitting for the setting. Unfortunately, the lighting wasn’t the best on our table and the manager stated that they were booked out so couldn’t move us to another table with better lighting. As the night wore on, the tables did slowly fill out.
We began our meal with our first starter, the vegetarian dish of Cauliflower Fritti, Toasted Almond with Spiced Fruit Marmalade. This went down very well on the table; the batter was light and very crunchy and the cauliflower was cooked perfectly. The spiced fruit marmalade provided the sweetness to complement the salty batter. A great vegetarian starter to our meal.
Next was our second starter of Queen Mud Scallops, Jerusalem Artichoke and Baby Herbs. Served on a bed of salt, the presentation of this dish was beautiful. The scallops were cooked well and very sweet. The flavours of this dish were light and delicate. If you’re a fan of scallops, it’s worth trying these.
The Kangaroo & Goose Pie, Farro and Dark Ale was my choice for the table. Unfortunately, I found it to be under-seasoned. By the nature of kangaroo and goose meat, the pie tasted quite gamey, more so than I would have liked. The pie has since been removed from the menu and replaced by a green kangaroo gnocchi dish.
My mum loved the Acre Salad. It had a great mix of seeds, nuts and crunchy radish. The crunchy textures and fresh, light flavours were the perfect accompaniment to the main dishes that were to come.
The second side to come out was the Duck Fat Roast Potatoes. The potatoes were well cooked and crispy however I didn’t really taste much of the duck fat. Especially when eaten with the main dishes, I could have mistaken them for normal roast potatoes.
I believe the market fish of the day was snapper. Amusingly, the placement of the lemon slice on the fish reminded me of the (albeit inaccurate) Greek custom of placing coins on the recently departed as payment for Charon the ferryman. As far as the fish was concerned, it was cooked well with a lot of moisture retained however lacking any distinct flavour.
The main event of the meal had finally arrived: The Free Range Lamb Shoulder with Salsa Verde, Roast Veg and Brussels. We were going to order the Brussels in yoghurt dressing with crunchy seeds as a side, however, we were told that it came as part of this dish. The Brussels were delicious and creamy. The Lamb was cooked until it was tender and falling off the bone. I found the Salsa Verde and mint sauces to be the perfect accompaniments for this dish and the Roast Veg was cooked till caramelised. This was a great dish to share amongst a large group, as suggested by the menu, and managed to satisfy all eight of us.
My mum and I had a sweet tooth we wanted to satisfy at the end of our meal so we ordered the special dessert of the night: Vanilla Strawberry Pastry Cake with Raspberry Sorbet. I found the pastry and fruits to be light and fresh. The raspberry sorbet was properly tart and went well with its bed of crumble. The perfect way to finish our meal.
I really enjoyed the aesthetic of Acre Eatery and I found their philosophy of sustainable, wholesome food quite admirable. The food itself adhered to their philosophy however I found that some dishes missed the mark in the seasoning department and nothing really jumped off the plate for me. Some dishes were done very well, though, but I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide whether it’s worth the asking price.