Lentil As Anything - St. Kilda

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 17 reviews )
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41 Blessington St, St Kilda, Victoria, VIC 3182

Non-profit community organization operating several cafes on a "pay as you feel" concept. Serves meals such as curries, burgers, and Asian influenced dishes; also coffee and cakes. Produce is organic, meals are mainly vegan and can be wheat-free. Limited seating. Mostly vegan, with vegetarian items. Open Mon-Sun 12:00pm-5:00pm, 5:30pm-9:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, International, Organic, Western, Fast food, Take-out

17 Reviews

First Review by tessha_m

Warm, happy vibe and hearty food - Edit

You go here more for the experience but the food is nice, too. It's pay-as-you-feel but you should pay normal restaurant prices (or more, if you can) unless you're having a rough time with money.

It's got a great, positive vibe and the food is like very nice home-style cooking. The type that warms your soul.

Pros: Positive vibes, Yummy home-style cooking, You'll leave feeling great

Cons: It's not exactly gourmet, Not everything is vegan

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Perfecto!! - Edit

Every meal on the menu will satisfy your taste buds! I had the Japanese pancake as well as the curry plate and both were delicious 

Pros: great food, good location , excellent service

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Always Perfect - Edit

Always perfect
Plenty of vegan dishes to choose from
Drinks and vegan desserts are fabulous
Lovely staff and volunteers
Relaxing bubbly atmosphere

** donate generously if you're able as this is pay as you can and enjoy. No set prices.

Pros: delicious, plenty of choice, always fresh, great service

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Love it! - Edit

It was wonderful to come back to the original Lentil As Anything after many years. They still had my favourite dish Okonamiyaki and it was delicious, as mas my soy chai! The staff were friendly and service was quick. There's a small amount of indoor and outdoor seating and it has a funky atmosphere. If I lived closer I'd be here all the time!

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Fine for a quick meal - Edit

Small menu but the green curry I had was good. Staff were a bit dozy and it seemed like they were there to chat to each other rather than serve customers. The 'donations' box has a suggested amount which tells you what is covered by each payment.
A useful location in the middle of St Kilda.
Nice concept, but I left feeling a bit disappointed by the offhand attitude of the staff.

Pros: Quick service, Good location

Cons: Non-attentive staff, Small menu

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An Oldie but a Goodie!! - Edit

Really tasty food and, as you pay what you feel is fair, you only have yourself to blame if you think it's too expensive! I thought I remembered there being more choices on the menu last time (mind you that was at least 3 years ago cos I'm not from Melbourne). We shared the Thali plate and green curry and I'm a wuss when it comes to spices and was worried it might be too spicy for me but was perfect. Full of spice flavour without the heat. I just hope people pay appropriately and support such a great concept and organisation.

Pros: Love the concept and their policies, Really tasty food, Warm inside and relaxed vibe

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nice food, interesting concept - Edit

came here with a friend a while ago. place was crowded but after a little wait we got a table outside. weather was lovely, so we were very happy abut that. service wasn't super fast, still nice. we both ordered a burger. taste was good, nothing super exciting/surprising, but definitely good.
I actually like the concept, even though I feel like it puts a lot of pressure on one, reading statistics of what costs can be covered by the amount one's paying. i'd say: fair enough. but it doesn't really leave you with paying what you actually feel like. also, we were told, there's no change possible, so you may wanna make sure you have a little change with you (my friend only had a 20 note, so he ended up paying for the both of us).
overall, a nice experience. and st. kilda is just great.

Pros: taste, location, atmosphere

Cons: payment

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St. Lentil - Edit

Small venue with a fairly small menu. Food and service were both very good.

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Good and simple - Edit

Enjoyed a Vegan green curry and Thali, along with an Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake).

Service was quick, meals were tasty and well sized.

It is a tiny space so weekends could make wait times much longer. We visited on a Monday night and were able to secure a table quickly.

Pros: Good food, Friendly staff

Cons: Limited seating

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An old favourite. - Edit

I noticed that nobody has reviewed this place since 2013, so I guess I'll write something here! The first time I came here would have been around 2008, when I initially became vegetarian. It was the first time I'd heard of an all veg restaurant, so I went down on the weekend with another veggie friend from school to check it out. The place was very small but completely empty, and they only had one food option, a burger, which I thought was okay but nothing special. I didn't come back here for a long time after this, because it was quite far from where I lived and I didn't think it was worth it.

In 2013 my boyfriend moved to St Kilda, about a 2 minute walk from Lentils. We ended up eating here weekly, as it had changed so much and was absolutely wonderful. They did various curries, the burger (which I still think is average) and some other dishes. The okonomiyaki, pea and potato curry and pumpkin curry were the highlights for me. I think they also do a breakfast but I was never up early enough for it! The coffee was always really good too.

I haven't eaten here in a while, as my boyfriend no longer lives in St Kilda, and every time I do happen to be in the area there is a massive line out the front. The restaurant is tiny and is extremely popular now, and I could never be bothered waiting in the line. However, if you do pass here and the line isn't big, I would highly recommend stopping in. It's a great place with a lovely atmosphere and really nice food.

Pros: Tasty, nice vibe, good coffee

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Eh. Great Concept, Mediocre Food - Edit

It's a great concept, based around really ordinary food. We were seated to the back, which felt cramped and not nice. The front tables looked more inviting. My serving of curry was quite small, and absolutely lacking in flavour. It was essentially 5 chunks of pumpkin in juice. The partner had a lentil burger that was truly below par. The savoury pancake thing was the only thing with promise. Surprisingly, my espresso was fine, and the long black tasted okay. The place is not without its charms, but seems to trade more on an idea instead of good food. If I return, I will be better prepared to keep asking for more dishes until I am full. Had I paid $10 for this meal, I would have felt ripped off. The payment thing is interesting, but at the end of the night, it doesn't really matter how little or how much I paid if I walk away hungry and completely dissatisfied with the quality of the food.

Pros: pay-what-you-want, nice location

Cons: food bland, unimaginative, small portions, cramped

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good value, always different - Edit

love these places , there is now one in St Kilda and Footscray as well as Abbotsford/ bit hard to work out what tp pay but no one ever sneers what u pay but I think some people should remember it is a co-op and a lot of staff are refugees. Thye give great food with always amazing taste sensations. i am never disappointed.

Pros: taste, value, staff

Cons: what to pay

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More than a restaurant - Edit

Update Dec2010: We're very sad to report that this Lentil has gone downhill. It may be due to lack of donations - if people don't donate enough money for their meals then the place doesn't have enough money to ensure the quality of the meals. It's unfortunately a self fulfilling downward spiral. It may also be due to a change of management, as we noticed a big change in the type of people behind the counter. Can't elaborate on that without accusations of racism (just stating the facts of the day though).

It used to be packed, last time we were there we had to share a table with others. This time there were many empty tables.

The food was still OK, but that's it, just OK. Not what we were looking so forward to. We went out afterwards and had a second dinner.

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We visit this place every time we go to Melbourne because we know we will get good quality, hearty and nutritious food that tastes good and is a pleasure to eat.

The service is variable depending on who is working there, but it's always friendly and our food has always been prepared fairly quickly, even when they're busy. A lot of the staff are volunteers or new to the hospitality industry.

The Japanese omelette is very interesting and tasty.....and morish. It seems popular too, as there are usually a few coming out of the kitchen in the time we spend there.

The soy chai can be outstanding or average, we've had both.

It's worth checking out the Lentil As Anything website to get a full understanding of what the concept is all about.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday October 20, 2009

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Love it! - Edit

This place is excellent for a casual lunch. Make sure you've got plenty of time to spare, and it's worth it. Food is tasty and very relaxed atmosphere.

Pros: Relaxed atmosphere, Nice food, Friendly staff

Cons: A little run down

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Worth a visit - Edit

I think the best thing to do is go for the buffet all-you-can-eat lunch. Salad, various curries, fresh flat bread. the staff are eager to please but a little bit clueless; i was waiting for the buffet to start, two members of staff told me that it it had started but then someone else told me to sit down again coz it hadn't started yet! also i asked if a particular dish cotained tomato and they said they didn't know, then they said no, but when i sat down to eat it i could see that it did..(im allergic to tomato). But the food was tasty-- bring a big appetite. You only pay as much money as you want to, and you just put it in a jar.

Pros: Tasty food, Fresh flat bread, Cheap

Cons: Weird staff

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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

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The best food of all the Lentil as Anything stores - Edit

St Kilda Lentil as Anything is the best of the Lentil chain as far as food goes. Always a great meal comes out, even if the service is not the best. I find it kind of crazy that they don't put more effort into the service since they rely on peoples discretion to descide how much they will pay for their meal!
One day i went there when I had a 1 hour break. I was the only one in the store and ordered straight away. I then waited 45mins for my meal to be served and i had to scoff it and leave to get to work. The chef just didn't start cooking it. I was quite annoyed. I only paid enough that i thought it would cover the cost of the ingredients because it was crappy service. Lucky it was really nice food when it arrived, and it did JUST arrive in time for me to get back to work...
The food always tastes great!

Pros: Economical, Great veg food, location

Cons: service record not great

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