Improving with age
Posted on 01 / 31 / 2014
Lentil has really improved since I was first going here over six years ago. It seems like it has gathered organisational wisdom over time and now seems to operate quite smoothly, thanks to hard-working volunteers. The Abbotsford Convent and its surrounding grounds are such a fantastic location for this community-oriented, pay-as-you-feel, self-service buffet eatery. I do still wonder how good an idea it is to have people serving themselves (hygiene, wastage, greed - I've watched people put the whole serving dish of dessert into a container to take away - etc) but this may be a necessary evil given the limited resources. These days the queue is usually very long and I have often waited over 45 minutes, so be prepared for this. I've never been unable to find a seat inside, but on a nice day I like to sit on the lawn where diners engage in all manner of leisure activities in addition to eating. The crowd is largely hippies, hipsters, travellers (all of these in the broadest sense) and members of alternative and marginalised communities. The food ranges from great to poor, but this is not a business demanding high prices or making a profit and it allows people to eat regardless of their means. These days the majority of dishes are vegan, which in past years was not always the case, and most are gluten-free too with everything clearly labelled as such. The set menu is different each night but tends to have themes according to the day of the week. Live music may or may not be your taste on any particular night. You can order (fair trade organic) coffee until 8:30pm but there's usually a wait and you may have to chase one of the staff. If you havent been before, Lentil is worth the experience, particularly in summer. It's an affordable feed in a friendly atmosphere.
Pay-as-you-feel, Vibrant atmosphere in beautiful surroundings
Long queue/waiting time, Food inconsistent