Eat: Lentil As Anything
Note: This is NOT a sponsored post, I just happen to really like what Lentil As Anything are doing in the community.
I’m sure many of my most dedicated readers are familiar with Lentil As Anything, the truly excellent pay-as-you-wish vegetarian restaurant with several locations across Melbourne. But did you know they now have a Sydney location?
The restaurant is a simple set up in a two-story shop front a few doors down from Newtown Social, identifiable only by a hand painted sign perched on the window sill. The menu consists of four main meal choices and one dessert and it all changes daily based on what they have in supply.
The main difference between Sydney’s Lentil As Anything and Melbourne’s Lentil As Anything outlets is that in Sydney there is a menu and they have a suggested donation of $12, whereas in Melbourne it is a buffet where you can eat as much as you want and no recommended donation. I wonder if that’s because the rent in Sydney is that much higher?
Because there were five of us, we ordered every main meal on the menu, including the curry twice. The servings were generous and honestly, we were so full afterwards – one of the boys even struggled with his curry it was so large!
They brought out sweet milky chai tea around on boards to warm everyone up on the cold winters night and then took our orders.
I ordered the chilli au gratin, which was a spicy bean and cauliflower bake with loads of cheese. It was perfect Winter comfort food with a spicy kick. The little fry bread balls served with it tasted slightly of corn (I think it was cornflour) and were tasty but were better suited to soaking up curry or soup – although my dish was saucy, there was very little to mop up.
This chickpea and mushroom curry was served in a massive bowl. It was a mild curry but was still full of flavour and creamy in texture. It just needed a hit of salt, I wonder if the volunteer chefs are a little afraid of soup?
Described as a ‘Japanese pizza’, this dish had a name that I cannot remember but started with an O. It was like a cabbage fritter and was served with a tangy dressing. I really liked this and will definitely be looking to recreate it at home.
While this splitpea soup will win no awards for beauty, it was a surprising hit with D, who slurped up the lot in record time. While it looks watery in the picture, it was packed with lentils, beans and various veg. It needed a good hit of salt though.
I’m a huge fan of Lentil As Anything and other pay-as-you-wish restaurants as it allows people with only a few dollars to eat a hearty meal which will then be supplemented by those diners who can afford to give more. I only wish they’d opened when I was unemployed, I would’ve been there every weekend.
Lentil As Anything is a volunteer-run restaurant and I know they’re always looking for an extra set of hands to help out in the kitchen or on the floor. If you’re between jobs, a university student or even have some time to spare around your full time job and would like to get involved, visit their website here.
Lentil as Anything is at 391 King St, Newtown