Lentil As Anything - Abbotsford Convent

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 20 reviews )

1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford, Victoria

Non-profit community organization operating several cafes on a "pay as you feel" concept. Seats 100. Mostly vegan, with vegetarian items. Open Mon-Sun 9:00am-11:30am, Mon-Sun 12:00pm-4:00pm, Mon-Sun 6:00pm-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, International, Western, Buffet, Fast food, Australian

Reviews (20)

First Review by KelseyApple

A ray of sun - Edit

How can you say anything negative about this place, surely the jewel in the crown of all the "Lentils..." venues. Its relaxed atmosphere, pleasant clientele, breezy aspect, yummy food and friendly staff are the ingredients to a café of love.

I have spent afternoons here with friends, with my daughter and alone; every time is special.

Pros: Food, People , Atmosphere

Cons: They aren't on every street.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

foods decent, good concept - Edit

I love the concept of this place. Pay what you can. Food is nothing to write home about but really hits the spot. Atmosphere is great. If you are broke you pay less but remember to pay more later when you can to make up for it people! The food isn't free to make or supply.

Talked to a few people who said they go here and eat for free all the time which is going to kill places like this and I'm pretty sure has killed one location all ready. Then they spend their money on beer and cigarettes. How bohemian :(
This place is to help those who actually can't afford healthy food. Don't be a disappointing dick wad and please pay what you can. I don't want this place to ever die.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

My Favorite Place - Edit

This place is my jam. If I had to choose the last place I would ever eat, this would be it. Not only for the wholesome delicious vegan food but also the atmosphere and ethics!! Love u lentil!!

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Great community, peaceful atmosphere, visual aesthetics, great food. - Edit

Personally, my favourite Lentil As Anything restaurant, amazing food, in particular the drinks and desserts, wonderful staff as always, also right beside an art showing, the convent gardens, and Collingwood children's farm, buffet style food, one of my favourite restaurants!

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Big surprise - Edit

At first I was a bit worried, because the place looked a bit dirty, but the food came very quick, was so delicious and well presented.
I think you have to like you should like the hippy culture, if you visit lentil as anything.

Pros: non-profit, yummy food, live music

Cons: not so clean

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Great concept, beautiful location - Edit

Recently revisited this place with a friend. The food was good (that day, everything but the dessert was vegan), and the atmosphere was excellent. Great concept. The convent grounds are also lovely to wander around in.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

love this place - Edit

I love what these guys are doing. Great atmosphere. Plenty of good food. Friendly faces everywhere.

Pros: Ethical, Good food, Friendly enviroment

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

word the visit! - Edit

The food was amazing, there was a lot to choose from, they chance there dishes during the day so have always something else, the flavours were perfect. I really have nothing to complain about here, food is perfect, people are nice, really an amazing vibe and love the 'pay as you like' concept! Definitly recommend this place and i will be back for sure!

Pros: everything really!

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

FANTASTIC Wholistic Vegetarian NIRVANA..... - Edit

"Pay as You Feel"...... What a concept!

This is an Amazing Place. All inclusive, Never Exclusive and a Seat for everyone from the Socially displaced to the Prime Minister!!!

Bohemian Food, PURE vegetarian Paradise. It's like a Party in my Mouth Every Time I Visit.....and when I leave I Feel good about the Fact that I have just Shared a meal with my Community...

EVERYBODY SHOULD EAT HERE..at least once! I guarantee you will want to come back again and again!
Updated from previous review on Saturday August 08, 2015

Pros: no Booking, GREAT ATMOSPHERE, self serve, pile as much on as you can eat, a Flavour Sensation of Gastronasmical proportion

Cons: can be very busy

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

favorite place on earth - Edit

It's hard to explain how much I adore this restaurant. You can not even just all it a restaurant. It's a cafe, community, hideout and oh so many things as well.

The concept is truly kind and lovely.
The food is barely ever the same but my favourite things are the soy chai, Friday's dinner doughnuts, the breakfast, oh well everything!!

If you ever visit Melbourne, this place is an absolute must. Take your plate outside and sit down on the meadow behind the building.

Pros: delicious , friendly staff, fits every budget

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

A Favourite - Edit

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.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Improving with age - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Fun, happening, delicious! - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Lovely place with a great concept behind it - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Good food, great for the community - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Great buffets - Edit

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.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Reviewer Avatar

prepared for the worst...got the best! - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Weekend buffet is great. - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Link to this page from your site. .
Return to Abbotsford Vegetarian Restaurants & Health Food Store Listings
Business Owners, if you see an unfair review, read this.
Why was my review removed? - details
Reviews are not endorsed by HappyCow - review terms
Has Lentil As Anything - Abbotsford Convent closed, shut down, moved, or changed? Please use the Update Form.
This page has been viewed 2610 times.