Mantra Lounge

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 35 reviews )
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03-9036-2996
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167 Grattan St, Carlton, Victoria, 3053

Yoga-inspired, canteen-style vegan food cafe near Melbourne University, operating since Jul 2014. Offers a lasagna set and another daily lunch set comprising main, salad, and piece of cake. Gluten-free food also available. Open Mon-Fri 10:00am-7:00pm. Hours may vary, so call to confirm.

Categories: Vegan, Indian, Western, Asian, Fusion

35 Reviews

First Review by bonn93

Affordable Vegan Food! - Edit

A great place to have very affordable vegan food. Love their sausage roll, they are delicious!!! The Moussaka is great too! Good service, good food!

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Get the lagsana! - Edit

Love the lagsana and moussaka here. They also have some nutritious and delicious desserts. Their mango pineapple lassie is so good.

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Love it! - Edit

Good food , affordable and 100% vegan!!! It's affordable probably nearby the school campus. The lady who serves us is very nice and friendly.

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eh - Edit

We were very hungry and so excited to try it after reading many glowing reviews...and we thought it was very underwhelming.
Lasagna-too running,messy and on the bland side.
Salad- boring dressing
Chana Masala-under average.
yellow rice- dried out and bland
Roti- greasy
mango lassi- blah.
vegan sausage- bland stuffing and overall very dry.

I do not recommend coming here especially with all the crazy traffic in Melbourne. Not worth a drive or fight for parking spot.

Pros: All vegan items

Cons: Bland and dried out food, expensive

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It's good - Edit

I liked the simple menu. Portions could be bit bigger. 4$ for a scoop of curry

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hidden gem - Edit

Super cute and lovely little shop. 'Sausage' rolls were delicious as well as the mango juice and sweets. Perfect to snack on. Lovely staff member.

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Mmmm Lasagna... - Edit

I had here the best vegan lasagna in the world!
Highly recommended lasagna.

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Nice vegan cafe - Edit

Cute little vegan cafe/restaurant. We had the lasagna and the curry of the day. Both were yummy and reasonably priced. We bought a giant cinnamon choc chip bickie for the walk back to the hotel which was amazing!!

Pros: 100% vegan

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Cheap and yum! - Edit

Yum! Cheap! Lovely vibe! ❤️

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Awesome vegan food - Edit

Delicious all vegan cafe close to the city. Yummy lasagne and curries. The night I went they were serving a bunch of pizza specials which were delicious. Good prices!

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Fabulous spot! - Edit

Delicious food and lovely staff. Everything is vegan. It's got a great atmosphere too... I plan to come back for more :)

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Lovely! - Edit

Lovely little cafe, great atmosphere, friendly staff. The lasagna was amazing! I'll be heading back there soon!

Pros: Amazing food, Lovely staff, Great atmostphere

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regularly eating here - Edit

One of my favourite vegan spots in Melbourne. Although the range isn't very big, it won't matter because the lasagne and kale salad will be the only thing you'll need to get. Shockingly, this delicious combo will only come to around $13.
Of course, the curries, moussaka and cakes deserve an honourable mention as well.

Overall, service is very friendly, and the food is cheap and so tasty! 10/10

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kale salad and lasagne combo - Edit

Kale tahini salad was super tasty and was a fair price with the big slab of Lasagne. Great for a quick takeaway meal between my jobs travelling all around.
Keen to head back for the curries.

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Watch out for the cakes they're addictive ! - Edit

I've had lunch at Mantra lounge three times this week. For some reason it keeps drawing me back. One day I had the Kale salad and beetroot salad with roti. The salads were really nice, the roti had a unpleasant greasy mouth feel. On two occasions I tried the two curry and salad deal. All four curries were really nice and packed with flavour. The kofta curry was a stand out. The salad was nice and the dressing really delicious.
Which brings me to the piña colada and snickers slices. Oh my, sensational ! A very dainty serve at an equally dainty price of $3. I would definitely eat at the Mantra lounge again. If you don't want a full meal it's well worth popping in for a treat.

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The best lasagne - Edit

Objectively the best lasagne ever made. Will be back here for more.

Cons: I didn't have enough stomach space for more la

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Disappointing - Edit

The food is OK, but it's a bit overpriced and it's all pre-made and mediocre. A bit depressing

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Good value vegan food - Edit

Went here twice and found the food very pleasant. Contrary to what the name suggests, the food is not just Indian, but very international. I had a bean burrito once and a lasagna (which was the best vegan lasagna I ever had) the second time. The food is relatively cheap and is quickly served - ideal for lunch breaks or a quick dinner! Very close to the university as well, which is a pro.

Pros: Cheap and quick, All vegan, Tasty

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disappointing - Edit

I really love they they serve vegan food, unfortunately the taste was disappointing and the price, for what is essentially pre made canteen food, is way too high. Even their reportedly most popular dessert was something that needed to be left.

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Overpriced mediocrity - Edit

I ate here about a year ago, and although I thought there was too much thyme in the lasagne, I was nevertheless happy with the overall quality and quantity of the food, given the price.

This time, I had a saussage roll with Asian slaw. The pastry on the saussage roll was tough, and I couldn't tell you how the filling tasted since it was so badly oversalted that none of the other flavours had a chance to be noticed. The slay was dry and boring - if there was supposed to be a dressing on it, it didn't reach the part that ended up on my plate. This (a light meal) cost me about same amount as lasagne + salad + cake cost me last time.

The mango lala (lassi) was still tasty and decent value at $3, even though that was a 50% price increase over last time, but if the drink is the only good part of a meal, that indicates a problem.

Updated from previous review on Thursday March 26, 2015

Pros: Cheap delicious drinks

Cons: The food

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It used to be great value - Edit

I really want to like Mantra and encourage them but I ordered the parmigiana which was nice but $9 and it was going to cost an extra $3 with a very basic green salad (lettuce and cucumber)

Updated: disappointed with the price changes. I think as a cheap restaurant it worked. With the price increases, the food needs to be better.

I tried this restaurant for the first time last week and ended up going 2 nights in a row! The first night I upgraded (usually $7.95, I paid $10) to the vegan lasagne which was full of flavour and the second night I upgraded to the vanilla and chocolate pleasecake. Yum! I think this will be a regular place for dinner.
Updated from previous review on Friday November 28, 2014

Updated from previous review on Thursday January 07, 2016

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Disappointing - Edit

I ordered a curry with rice and salad. The curry was spinach and tofu but I found it very bland to the point of being inedible (and I have a very strong aversion to wasting food). I heard another customer say her food was bland too. The brown rice was gluggy and the simple salad added nothing to the meal.
Mantra's food used to be tastier and much better value but, unfortunately, they have increased their prices and the quality of their food has declined considerably.
I am not sure what they are trying to achieve but either they are failing miserably or they are completely on the wrong track. Charging restaurant prices for basic and below par meals is not a recipe for success. Each of Mantra's relaunches leaves me more dissatisfied, which is a shame, as I would love for them to succeed and return to their former winning formula. Otherwise, the quality of the food needs to match the new prices if they are going to pretend to be a real restaurant.

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Mantra Lounge - Edit

Mantra lounge offers cheap, healthy and great tasting food. Great location for university students, and those that need a quick meal. I ordered the lasagna, asian salad, tiramisu, and a berry ice tea. Although there has been a slight increase in prices, they still offer great value for money. Only con was the food needs to be slightly hotter. It's a fine balance with bain-marie food, too high the food will dry out not high enough the food is not hot enough. If they find that happy medium it will make the experience just that much better.

Pros: Cheap, Tasty , Effecient

Cons: Temperature of hot food

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:( - Edit

This place use to be my absolute jam but since world vegan day their prices have boosted :( for the standard meal, they took away the daily cake and boosted the price a few dollars :( the cakes are absolutely incredible though, and the curries are mostly really nice (except for when they saturate it in Rosemary)!

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Ajuna661 01 Nov 2016 - I 100% agree with everything you said.  


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nuggets - Edit

bit salty. But really like the nuggets!

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Cheap, decent-sized meals with OK not amazing food - Edit

The drawcard of this place is that it's cheap (although they've gone up a bit in the last year). Now you pay around $12 for vegan lasagna, salad and cake or around $8 for a pasta dish, lentil stew and cake. Everything's vegan and the portion sizes are decent for the price. In my (substantial, including recent) experience the lasagna is not that good but it's cheap and edible. I've been here several times and recently tried the nachos, as I saw they were now an option. They were OK, maybe better than the lasagna, but what you'd expect for the price. The tofu curry, on the other hand, was bordering on inedible. There is also a self-service dispenser for drinks, including (vegan) mango lassi and spirulina smoothie, which are $3 for a substantial glass but a bit on the sweet/heavy side. This is a handy option for cheap vegan food if you're in the city area.

Pros: Cheap and all vegan, Pleasant staff, Good location

Cons: Food sometimes not good, Limited seating

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Best value in town - Edit

Mantra lounge provides good food at an excellent price. While there are other cheap options in the city, few (if any) provide food that is of the same quality. Definitely worth a visit.

Pros: Quality, Value, Atmosphere/location

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