Above image sourced from the Fifty Acres Website
65 Bridge Road
Mon – Fri: 6:30am – 4pm
Sat: 7am – 4pm
Sun: 8am – 4pm
Coffee: Dukes Coffee Roaster
“I consider myself a bit of a MelbApedia when it comes to coffee, restaurants and bars. Developing the Knack – through hours of studying and tasting – of looking at a brunch or dinner spots, I can identify with a strong accuracy whether it’s under performing or stellar. I’ll admit, I do judge a cafe by its coffee machine. But such skill does have its downsides, as my culinary prejudices can be my Achilles heal. So much to my surprise when Miss SL suggested to visit a cafe at an unlikely location at Punt and Bridge Road, Richmond – Fifty Acres.
The location for Fifty Acres isn’t necessarily where I would associate with a decent brunch. Prior to its opening in 2013, I would have had a better chance scoring an apparel bargain rather than a decent brunch. With Bridge Road losing some of its bargain shopping appeal with new shopping districts, it was time to push off those preconceived notions.
Fifty Acres is the vision of Nick Gaoutsos’ first sole operation. Hidden in plain sight and only having naturally light from the busy Bridge Road facade, Nick engaged interior designers Georgia Nowak and Dhiren Das from Tone and Co to create an unique brunch space. The design is very slick, yet surprising simple and modern. For example, the grey walls have been enhanced by graphics crafted from Sue Palmer of Liquid Creativity, allowing the dinning haul to have a sharp and futuristic flare.
Ordering the house long black from Dukes Coffee Roaster (singles origins are only offered in their range of pour overs), I found that it was of good quality despite the distorted coffee head. Miss SL’s double espresso looked exceptional and I was envious. Well rounded flavours emerged as the coffee slightly cooled.
Offering Pumpkin pancakes w orange segments, citrus mascarpon, candied walnuts & Canadian maple [$17] add crispy bacon [$5] demonstrates Fifty Arces commitment to be a ’boutique’ cafe. The plating looked incredibly stunning; each pancake was symmetrical in shape and identical to the next. There was a strong sweet versus savoury theme that could be adjusted to individuals taste. The savoury pumpkin pancakes were filling, but was cut through with complementary flavours of the Canadian maple, candied walnuts and citrus mascarpon making for a sweet-toothed heaven. The addition of crispy bacon was optional and should only be added – in my opinion – if a) you absolutely love bacon and b) you have brought a seriously large appetite.
I really like the Fifty Acres vibe and commitment in being a strong brunching venue. With its unassuming spaces that bring everything from a rustic vibe that’s clean and modern – Fifty Acres is one for the list of ‘places to try’.”
“I’m a big social media wanderer. There are things I should be doing, and then then there are the things I do. For example, I should be writing up my various reviews, but instead I spend my evening train ride home reading funnies on distractify.com and looking at cute poodles on instagram. It was on instagram, in fact, where I was inspired for our next brunch outing- Fifty Acres in Richmond.
It was a wet day when we caught up and parking on Bridge Road was a nightmare. Down a backstreet, around the corner in a two hour zone, I finally managed to secure a spot. Funnily enough, Mr LB was tailing me, so we walked the short walk back to Bridge Road together and entered the venue, which was full of light and had lovely sophisticated grey booths along the left hand side walls. We were seated immediately along the wall at the grey booths with no wait time, which seemed like a miracle in its own.
While my double espresso was by Dukes, I noticed that they also had the Candy Man blend from Auction Rooms. My coffee was fruity but not bright. It was super delicious but not like a typical Dukes blend which I recall to be acidic like a good Axil blend.
Reading through the menu, there were so many exciting and creative dishes on the menu it was hard to pick! I was pretty set on having the Black sticky rice pudding w/ mango and candied coconut [$14] but I was informed that they were no longer serving it as a menu item. Bummer! I wasn’t too upset about it though, as I was also pretty fixated on Dr Marty’s crumpets w/ peanut butter, banana, dulce de leche & crumbled pistachio [$12].
I must say that the vibe inside Fifty Acres was really nice. It was comfortable, the acoustics were good and the atmosphere was just… relaxing. It was a truly great way to unwind and relax into the day. There wasn’t a long wait before our meals came out and I was immediately excited looking at my crumpets. Digging in as soon as our photos were done, I noted that they were dense yet moist. My crunchy peanut butter was runny from the warmth of the crumpets and thick. So, so good. Fresh split banana was split top and I must admit that I often forget how good the combination of peanut butter and banana is – a match made in heaven! My only comment on the dish is that the pistachio nuts and dulce de leche were well and truly overpowered by the peanut butter. But hey – not that I was complaining.
End to end, I found the Fifty Acres experience perfect – the staff were professional, friendly and cognizant of your needs whilst the menu was creative yet approachable. A real must-visit cafe in Melbourne.”
Final thought: “A must-try cafe in Melbourne with a creative yet approachable menu”