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If you don't have these pumpkin pancakes on your social feed, are you truly brunching?
In 1839, politician Joseph Docker purchased 50 acres of land in Richmond for £975. Nearly 200 years later his memory is kept alive by Nicholas Gaoutsos, owner of Fifty Acres, a café situated on part of Docker’s former land on Bridge Road. Gaoutsos has conjured an image of bucolic countryside life thanks to a mint green wall, a wood panelled roof and rustic chairs. The rest though – bricks, slate, geometric lights – is very Melbourne. Let’s meet in the middle and call it pastoral chic.
They nail the Melbourne brunch brief here: couples read newspapers while snacking on smashed avo sprinkled with dukka on dark rye; groups of shoppers coo over citrus-cured salmon with asparagus and savoury granola; and footy-loving families fill the comfy booth for serves of vanilla bean porridge, breakfast burritos and free-range goat’s cheese omelettes.
And in case you were wondering, they have an Instagram famous dish too. Pumpkin pancakes arrive as fat discs that are fluffy and creamy in equal measure, with a bright tang from orange segments, crunch from candied walnuts and richness from the citrus mascarpone. Although it’s doused in Canadian maple syrup, the pumpkin in the batter ensures it’s not sickly sweet. Next time we’ll skip the bacon (needs extra crisping) and treat this purely as dessert for breakfast.
On the other hand it doesn’t get more savoury than the Scotch eggs: soft-boiled eggs enveloped in chorizo, panko-crumbed and deep-fried, served on bale of spinach with oodles of pecorino for extra sharp saltiness.
Fifty Acres also scores bonus points for the service, which is a good mix of gentle, informative and generous (our drinks were complimentary as we were asked to share our table twice).
A barista first and foremost, Gaoutsos pours fair-trade espresso blends from Dukes Coffee Roasters: two seasonal blends are on offer daily, one for black and one for milky versions. His passion for coffee will soon see him open an espresso bar in the CBD, but those big city pastures will be hard to compete with the fifty acres he’s claimed in Richmond.
65 Bridge Rd
|Opening hours:||Mon–Fri 6:30am–4pm; Sat 7am-4pm; Sun 8am-4pm|