An urban farm feast
It has been one of the most anticipated openings on the lower North Shore in 2020.
Promising to bring the ‘farm to table’ movement to industrialised Artarmon, acre has been eagerly awaited for by locals pining for a slice of that breezy country-life post-lockdown.
As fellow North Shore apartment dwellers, my partner and I were naturally among this cohort eager to get out to HomeHQ and experience the ‘urban farm’ café, bakery, bar, and restaurant.
What hits you right away is the incredible design of acre’s 200sqm site.
Spanning across indoor and outdoor spaces, it evokes the feel of dining in an enormous greenhouse or plant nursery. The lush verdancy of the outdoor garden beds teeming with fruit trees is carried through the indoor space with large potted ferns and hanging planters every which way you turn.
This focus on the organic extends through to the all-day brunch menu, which centres around vegetables and fruits grown on-site and eggs from the resident chicken coop.
As hungry breakfast-goers we excitedly ordered the heirloom tomatoes with house ricotta and herb oil and the chilli scrambled eggs to share, along with two house blend lattes.
The tomatoes, grown in trellises in the gardens, burst with sweet freshness and were complemented perfectly by creamy, thick chunks of ricotta and a drizzle of fragrant herb oil.
Meanwhile, the chilli scrambled eggs had just the right amount of kick, with the ample serving more than satiating our healthy morning appetites.
The curse of the opening weekend struck, though, when one of the coffee machines decided to call it quits.
While the result was us finishing our meals before our brews arrived, the staff were wonderfully attentive, checking regularly on the progress and feeding us updates.
When it did arrive, the Gypsy blend made for a smooth latte with hints of chocolate and caramel. Well worth the wait.
Between its bakery with homemade pastries, focaccias, sausage rolls and pies; its Italiano restaurant and bar; and its Atrium café, acre is one of those unique venues that covers all bases – from day to night and casual to formal.
In our humble opinion, it is sure to become a North Shore institution.