Lentil As Anything -...

Overall rating: 4.0 stars 10 Reviews
Non-profit community organization operating several cafes on a "pay as you feel" concept. Seats 100. Price: Inexpensive more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, International, Western, Australian, Buffet, Fast food
reviews

Reviews

First Review by KelseyApple
blinki
blinki
  • vegan
Contributions
+91

A Favourite

5 Posted on 05 / 06 / 2014

Great location, when it's summer it's lovely to sit outside. The food is always good and sometimes great. At dinner time there can be a fairly long queue but when you get in you get food right away so it's not much worse than waiting to be served in a regular restaurant. Food is always well labelled and desert is vegan more often than not. The concept of Lentil is great and means you always get a fair price. Overall it's one of my favourite places in Melbourne.


Tiggy
Tiggy
  • vegan
Contributions
+405

Improving with age

3 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.

Pros: Pay-as-you-feel, Vibrant atmosphere in beautiful surroundings
Cons: Long queue/waiting time, Food inconsistent
AlyssaVegan
AlyssaVegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+26

Fun, happening, delicious!

5 Posted on 08 / 16 / 2013

I come here very often with my siblings-we all meet in the city and go to lentils to enjoy the delicious vegan and vegetarian food and fun lively atmosphere. You can eat as much as you want and pay as you think you should.
The food is great, the staff are friendly and everyone goes to have a good time!
Quite busy and noisy but adds to the atmosphere

Pros: All you can eat, Delicious

herrF
herrF
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+25

Lovely place with a great concept behind it

4 Posted on 06 / 19 / 2013

I used to live in Melbourne for a few years, and this has been one of my regular places to go to. The buffet is great with changing dishes. Sometimes even live music is played plus the convent is such a cool green spot to hang out so close to the city!

Pros: nice vibe, green surrounds
Repeater
Repeater
  • vegan
Contributions
+22

Good food, great for the community

4 Posted on 06 / 12 / 2011

Have been going to Lentils regularly for years now, and it has never disappointed. There's always a variety of dishes of all kinds, with a few signatures usually on the menu (dahl of course!). Food can be hit and miss, but usually only moving between good and very good. You can't really complain about it either, seeing as most of the staff are volunteers, and you can pay what you feel anyway! Staff are friendly and helpful. Great location and place to eat, particularly nice to sit outside on a nice evening due to the surroundings. A great place to have in the community, would recommend to anyone

Pros: Food, Ambience
rbro
rbro
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+11

Great buffets

4 Posted on 02 / 06 / 2010

They have moved away from the menus and pretty much mostly do buffets for lunch and dinner each day now -- which is actually great, because there's no long wait, the quality is a lot more consistent, you can get a huge serving, try a whole range of dishes, and the staff can focus on serving drinks and desserts and cooking.

Each night is a different cuisine. African night on Wednesday is great -- salads, lentils, curries, injira and more.

They often have live music outside during dinner as well.

The food won't blow you away, but it's tasty, healthy and filling, and the atmosphere is very warm and down to earth.


hev
hev
  • vegan
Contributions
+26

prepared for the worst...got the best!

5 Posted on 09 / 19 / 2008

Having read the previous reviews for this restaurant....we arrived 2 hours before the gig we were going to in St.Kilda and braced ourselves for nonchalent staff....well we couldn't have been more wrong... the food (3different curries, salad,roti, rice,and yoghurt for two people) arrived within ten minutes of ordering and the staff were friendly, chatty and interested in what we thought of the food... which, incidently, was absolutely delicious. So much time to spare we had to go buy another bottle of wine to pass the time...such is life!

Pros: gr8 food, quick service, good vibe
tessha_m
tessha_m
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+43

Weekend buffet is great.

4 Posted on 04 / 29 / 2008

How awesome is a buffet that you can eat what you want, then pay what you want. Great.
I belive the buffet is only on weekends. They still have the normal menu on on weekends and during the week. The Buffet had bread, curry dishes, pasta, salad... not fancy but all vegetarian. You pay after you eat and just stick it into a box so its not too intimidating.
I think its great to pay as you feel buffet style, if you don't eat much you can just pay less!
I understand that its intimidating for people to descide what to pay, so i offer this advice. When i dine out the price i have to pay forms a part of weather or not its a good experience. If a meal is a good price i'm happy. therefore, if i want to be happy with Lentil as Anything, i need to pay a good price for it. So for me, i pay what i would be happy to pay for the food at another cafe.
If the service is not great, which has only happened once at Lentil when i waited 45mins even though i was the only one in the st kilda store, i only paid enough to cover the cost of the ingredients.

Pros: Price, concept, location is nice
Cons: could be intimidating to pay as you feel
Aloo
Aloo
  • vegan
Contributions
+380

Ambient as anything

3 Posted on 02 / 07 / 2008

To sit at Lentil as Anything in Abbottsford is a pleasant experience, located at the convent with beautiful surrounds. The food is limited, and alright but not fantastic. Service seems a little distracted. I enjoy meeting friends there because it is a nice place to site, not neccesarily because of the food. They also have live music and entertainment some nights, which really is a hoot.

Pros: Ambience, live entertainment
KelseyApple
KelseyApple
  • vegan
Contributions
+103

Very good

4 Posted on 12 / 28 / 2006

The pay what you feel concept was a little daunting. The food was so good that I'm sure left more than I would have been willing to pay if that price was written on the menu. Six of us ate there and each got a different dish and every one of us was very impressed.



 

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Last updated: 2014/09/23

 

Added: 2007/08/01

 

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