28th September 2015
41 Blessington St
St Kilda, 3182 VIC
For those of you who are heading out St Kilda way to have dinner at The Two Badgers, DON’T. It’s not that the food is bad… but I wouldn’t call an unexpected and abrupt closure a good thing either. And I had a $100 voucher for the restaurant too, boo!
Thankfully of all places, it was St Kilda we were in. So instead of being stranded, cold and hungry, we walked 100m down the road to check out Lentil As Anything, a restaurant that has been on my to-eat list since the beginning of always.
On the surface, Lentil as Anything seems like a run-of-the-mill vegetarian restaurant, but it is so much more than that. As far as I know, it is the only restaurant in Melbourne that runs on a Pay As You Feel system. Of course, they do give you guidelines – $12 covers the meal and wages, whilst $15 takes care of overhead costs too. But in the end, what Lentil As Anything stands for is providing healthy meals to those in need, with a little bit of help from the more fortunate.
I was refluxing something bad, so I ordered some Peppermint Tea to sooth my stomach. Though I could see the Woolworths teabag tag sticking out of the teapot, it was hot and minty, which was all that I was after.
When we walked in, we saw these amazing-looking slabs of vegetarian lasagne. Unfortunately, we were about 10 minutes too slow, as they had sold out by the time we got to ordering, and we had to sadly trade our thoughts of lasagne for a Lentil Burger. Despite balking at the prospect of a vegan burger, this was surprisingly delicious. The warm, crisp Turkish roll was what made it stand out, but the julienned veggies and lentil patty weren’t too bad either. And although the vegan aioli didn’t have much taste to it, it did a good job of preventing the burger from getting dry.
The Thali Of The Day was not quite what I had expected. Yes it had your regular rice and papadums, as well as curried beans. What made it unusual was the stew of beetroot, cooked in cream sauce. For those of you who don’t like the red vegetable, give this a shot – even if it doesn’t change your mind completely, it will at least make you think again.
Everyone we saw had at least one Okonomiyaki on their table, and who are we to argue with the masses? Ok so this isn’t a ‘real’ okonomiyaki, but the vegetable pancake was flavoursome and crisp, whilst the vegan aioli and sweet chilli sauce was a decent imitation of mayo and okonomiyaki sauce.
Although Lentil As Anything is so much more than just a restaurant, this is a food blog, so here are my two cents: the food is unexciting, but healthy and of good quality. They also do a bang-up job of making you forget that you’re eating vegetarian, which is always an impressive feat. So what did we end up paying? Despite the average food, we were happy to shell out the full $15 each, no guilt-trip needed. Lentil As Anything is just such an amazing concept, and it serves as a reminder of just how lucky we really are, and how easy it can be to help those in need.
Rating: yeah right, as if i’m going to rate this one.