“We have had a dream to open a modern Australian eatery sourcing produce from our back door step, South Australia. We live in the Adelaide Hills and can attest to the fact that it is the best place in the world to live. Amazing produce, friendly people and close to everything. 30 Acres is taking this local, seasonal produce and through it’s amazing chefs, bakers and bartender’s, turning it into an experience for your whole family to enjoy. We are a small farm providing predominantly stone fruit and vegetables for the restaurant and we have many exciting things to share.
We hope to see you soon!”
Alex & Rik
30 Acres in Norwood, is the latest project from renowned and respected hospitality experts, Adelaide couple, Rik Fisher and Alex Smith. The restaurant adds to their expanding portfolio of superb dining venues, including 303 By the Sea, Kitchensmith and Oar.
Rik Fisher and Alex Smith have breathed life back into the space down the end of The Parade, occupying the former Norwood Squash Centre. 30 Acres is a blend of everything the two love in hospitality–highly seasonal menus, all day brunch, freshly baked cakes, incredible coffee, sustainability, all served up in a casual, family-friendly brunch destination.
Alex Smith was a former fine dining chef and she also managed Loose Caboose etc, she’s now Head Chef of 30 Acres. Rik Fisher, worked in his family business in the automotive industry, he now oversees their restaurants and dedicates a lot of his time to their farm.
When Rik and Alex moved to the Adelaide Hills, over five years ago, they purchased a 30-Acre farm in Ashton, only 20mins up the road from Norwood. The size of their property gave their 30 Acres Norwood restaurant its name. The goal was to cultivate the land, to grow vegetables, fruits and nuts, so that they could use produce from their farm in their own restaurant. Their farm-to-fork dining concept has come to fruition.
We had a great chat with Rik, who is passionate about his work on the farm. Rik said they’ve grown a huge range of vegetables, fruit trees, hazelnut trees with black truffle spores in the roots and have a lot of free-range chickens! It’s taken a few years to see their dream become a reality but the farm is flourishing with over 500 fruit trees-apples, stone fruit, cherries, figs, nuts and berries. The herbs on their farm accent and flavour their dishes. The tight knit Hills community provide an abundance of crops from their farms too, providing that sought after paddock-to-plate experience. We recently popped in for a delicious muffin, the rhubarb still retained a bit of bite and the fresh apples were directly sourced from the Adelaide Hills.
Alex takes her inspiration from the seasons, her breakfast and brunch-focused menu changes every few months. Cakes and sweet treats are her passion, they’re all made in-house, often using her Mum’s recipes. Their in-house baker from France, turns out the most impressive array of baked treats we’ve ever experienced, which showcases the 30 Acres philosophy of combining the finest local produce with culinary influences from across the globe. Baking starts at 4am and continues throughout the day until about 1pm, to ensure all the pastries that are baked in-house are incredibly fresh.. every single day! A plethora of sourdough, bread, crumpets, danishes, croissants, muffins and other pastries, are all made from South Australian ingredients. The flour they use is milled in SA, sourced from Cummins Milling on the Eyre Peninsula, one of the oldest flour mills in Australia.
Baking croissants from scratch is a three day process using SA flour and Paris Creek Farms butter. The plain croissants are enormous and their specialty croissants are then filled with Skara ham and Section 28’s award-winning Monforte cheese, both from the Adelaide Hills. My Mum tried the ham and cheese croissant and texted me to say “it was absolutely beautiful and hands down the best croissant we have ever had anywhere in the entire world. It was absolutely sensational!”
In addition to their main Menus, 30 Acres offers a fabulous range of cakes, tarts, pastries which are displayed at the entrance. We tried the inviting pink topped Vanilla Slice with a layer of passionfruit infused cream and a custard danish that I would write home about! The Carrot Cake is amazing, four tiers of luscious moist goodness. Walnuts provide the crunchy texture, the cream cheese filling is not overly sweet. Candied kumquat and ginger sandwiched between the layers of cake give the cake a delicious flavour. A topping of candied ginger, berries and seeds made us want to go back for more..
House blend or Single Origin espresso coffee roasts are freshly roasted and blended with Adelaide Hills Tweedvale milk or Milklab alternatives. Coffees are served in stunning Robert Gordon Pottery or available to takeaway.
Garden fresh fruits are used in pressed Juices, smoothies and homemade sodas round out the drinks on offer. We tried the Honey, Rosemary and Grapefruit, plus the Swamp Road Rhubarb and Raspberry Sodas, both phenomenal! The Beetroot, Carrot, Apple and Celery Juice was so good; Pineapple, spinah, avocado, kiwi, coconut water Smoothie was so nourishing and delicious!
A contemporary, industrial aesthetic, incorporating the in-house bakery on the mezzanine level, a huge open kitchen with double charcoal grill and a pizza oven. The stylish decor of the restaurant gives it a cosy and modern feel.. Alex and Rik designed the interior and renovated the space themselves, with help from their family. We asked Rik about the vintage marine light fittings featured in the Bar area and along the walls of the restaurant. He sourced reclaimed industrial lights from a ship in Germany and a 60-year-old shatterproof fixture from a bomb shelter in the Czech Republic. The stunning interior of 30 Acres, is filled with natural light streaming in through giant plate glass windows. It’s such a welcoming, airy and spacious dining area, featuring natural fabrics and fibres, solid timber throughout and a rich deep veined marble slab around the bar section. The tonal palettes of green and earthy tones through the venue are evocative of the beautiful Adelaide Hills. We were impressed with the detail and thought that has gone into every component of 30 Acres. On the white marble dining tables are custom-made ceramics, that were fired with leaves from 30 Acres trees so that each has its own unique char marks. It shows how literally the pair is taking farm-to-fork dining at 30 Acres. The couple have long term plans with 30 Acres so they’ve designed a space where they feel at home.
30 Acres has seating for 150, with a u-shaped bar at the front entrance, to display cases filled with decadent danishes, muffins and cakes. Booths and bench seating line either side of the restaurant, the back section houses more table settings below the mezzanine level bakery, where guests are fascinated to see the chefs at work in the bustling, open kitchen with a double charcoal grill and giant steel pizza oven. Rik explained that the pizza oven is used for slow cooked meat, vegetables plus baked goods like sourdough bread, fruit loaves, Portuguese tarts etc.
30 Acres Head Chef and owner Alex Smith has created seasonal menus, subject to change.. right down to their fruit juices. Bradley Allman, formerly from sister restaurant 303 by the Sea, has worked alongside Alex, to curate incredible menus for breakfast or brunch, their lunch menus are designed so they can be ordered individually or shared.
We ordered the appetising XO mushrooms with kale, fried egg, goat curd, fermented cabbage and savoury wild rice which can also be a vegan option, such a tasty dish!
The standout dish for me was their mouth-watering breakfast curry, a perfectly balanced curry sauce, poached eggs, fried potatoes, mango chutney, labneh, green sauce. The combination of flavours was absolutely scrumptious!
We enjoyed a 30 Acres version of the standard Big Breakfast, notable difference was it includes a baked potato which had a fluffy texture and crispy skin. It was stuffed with a filling of baked beans, melted cheese and a superb sauce. Sensational poached eggs with perfect runny yolks, local chorizo, Adelaide Hills smoked bacon, broccoli, wilted greens, the accompaniment to the dish was their own HP sauce. Served with grilled sourdough that is baked on the premises and local butter.
30 Acres take on a Steak sandwich was BBQ Turkish bread, filled with chargrilled flank steak, fermented chilli, section 28 cheese, fried eggs! Absolutely succulent and tender, full of flavour!
For lunch, you might order; charcoal market fish; wood fired chicken; kangaroo and wild boar burger or or crocodile fillet!
Dishes include local Ngeringa grown biodynamic produce, Port Lincoln Mussels etc all exclusive South ingredients, down to the pot of Olsson’s redgum smoked salt on every table,
The atmosphere is warm and friendly, the manager Tim was exceptional, attentive and helpful with suggestions or requests. Customer service was outstanding from the Barista and wait staff. Our Dishes were both generous and surprisingly affordable. It’s kid-friendly and has full table service, which earn big ticks from me. The ideal spot for a morning coffee or an afternoon drink with friends; it’s the perfect location for family events or business meetings. 30 Acres is currently open for breakfast, brunch and lunch, with a view to open up for dinner over the next couple of months. Rik and Alex are keen to keep the space open late into the evenings, offering a great opportunity for customers to sample their impressive list of local Gin and Wines. The restaurant has a steady stream of customers and is known to get very busy, so it is advisable to book a table, in advance, if you want to avoid waiting for a table.
Words by Jacqueline Collett
WHERE: 233 The Parade, Norwood