Within the grounds of the Abbotsford Convent, opposite Collingwood Children’s FarmPROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Lentil As Anything is a not-for-profit organisation that is based around food, culture and community, and has been running in Melbourne for more than ten years. Staffed largely by volunteers, the restaurant relies on produce donated by local suppliers, and the generosity of their patrons who pay what they feel the meal was worth. Lentil As Anything has four restaurants with the Abbotsford eatery being the largest. It has no menu, instead offering a daily buffet that varies throughout the week. Aside from providing healthy meals for those in times of crisis, the restaurant is also popular with students, backpackers, and locals. The organisation gives support to new migrants and refugees, many of whom staff the restaurant and are friendly, welcoming and eager to give back.
The Abbotsford ‘Lentils’ has recently been revamped and now looks less like a staff canteen and more like a pleasant diner. There are fresh flowers on the tables, live music playing every night, and silent movies screened on the wall which together give the restaurant an alternative and arty atmosphere. The buffet offers vegetarian soups, curries, pasta, salads and rice dishes, and usually includes a good range of vegan options. Wednesday night offers African cuisine, Thursdays are devoted to Nepalese food, or check out the Sri Lankan Sunday nights for an affordable and relaxed finish to the weekend. There is free BYO for beer and wine and the cakes and coffee are a great way to finish the meal every day of the week. Give generously for your meal because Lentil As Anything serves more heart and soul than any other restaurant, and the price of your enjoyment will benefit more than just yourself.