Lentils anyone?

Hey hey everyone,

It’s been a long time since I’ve written something for you.
Between my last post and now I had been juggling work, an unpaid internship, finishing up my Masters and most recently moving apartments (yes, I have moved yet again!). But the storm has finally begun to calm down and although I don’t see myself having a lot of free time for the next few days(maybe even a week or two), I shall try and be more frequent at posting articles (key word here :TRY).

Besides the above said reasons, another factor that put me off writing for a bit was simply the lack of something worthwhile to write about.
That is, until now.

Yesterday was my day off from work and I had intended on getting some shopping done for my new bedroom. I called some of my friends to come join me on this task because shopping is fun in numbers and also, I get super confused when shopping! I decided to head to Broadway Shopping Center and get my things from Target and Adairs.
An hour into shopping, we started to get hungry. So we put the rest of the shopping on hold and decided to take a drive up to Newtown in search of a good restaurant. This task proved to be even more difficult than shopping! And this is because one of my friends is vegan while the rest of us aren’t (I am an on-and-off vegan/vegetarian. I like to eat healthy and therefore have begun to eat a lot more veggies and a lot less meat/dairy/dairy products). After what felt like an endless debate of where to eat, we decided to go to a vegan restaurant that one of my non-vegan friends suggested.
The next seemingly impossible task came almost immediately. Finding this restaurant was not exactly easy as my friend neither knew the name of it nor where its precise location was. All he could remember was that it had a red sign-board and that it was crowded with people the last time he drove by it. Not exactly the best leads in the world and for a while I did think we were on a wild goose chase.
Finally we did manage to find the restaurant and it was, LENTIL AS ANYTHING. Not only was their sign-board a daring red but so was the entire outside wall. The menu board placed outside boasted some of the healthiest vegan/vegetarian dishes. And truth be told, I was highly doubtful that any of it would fill my stomach. I was convinced however, that it would definitely make my wallet a lot slimmer (because it’s a vegan/vegetarian restaurant in Sydney, enough said). Boy, was I wrong on both accounts!
We ordered two of their Mexican beans with cooked barley & salad and one of their broccoli and corn bake dishes (I can’t remember the name of it, sorry!:( ). After an anxious wait of 8-10 minutes, our food arrived. While it looked to be delicious, the portion size affirmed my initial doubts of it fulfilling my appetite. I dug into it thinking that it would be easy-peasy and that I’d have room for more. But the Mexican beans intended to prove me wrong. In the end, the beans won and I happily and gracefully accepted defeat. The best part was that unlike a meat-filled meal, this scrumptious lunch did not make me feel sluggish afterwards. It instead left me with a pleasant feeling of having had a hearty meal that was both tasty and healthy.

But what makes LENTIL AS ANYTHING a great restaurant is not just its food but what comes after. Now, not having inquired about the prices I was ready to fork out a pretty hefty amount. But when the waitress nonchalantly said that we could pay (or rather “donate”) WHATEVER amount we felt was appropriate, at first I was confused and then surprised. This restaurant had a Pay-What-You-Feel-Like policy; the first time I’ve ever come across something like it. It functions on the principle that “customers give what they feel the food is worth and have the opportunity to contribute towards a world where respect, generosity, trust, equality, freedom and kindness rule”. Customers can donate anything from $2 and above and this helps pay the wages, rent etc. And did I mention that the staff at this place comprise of volunteers?

I think this is a fantastic initiative of serving the community by generous community members through the powerful tool that is FOOD. Founded by Shanaka Fernando, LENTIL AS ANYTHING was first started in St.Kilda, Melbourne and its immense success led to the opening of 3 other outlets before they finally arrived to inner-city Sydney. And I am sure there are many like my friends and I who are extremely happy with this decision.
After speaking to two of their friendly volunteers, I have decided to provide my services as a community member someday soon.

I strongly urge all my readers in Sydney and Melbourne to give LENTIL AS ANYTHING a try, if you haven’t already. Even if you are not a vegetarian or a vegan I’m sure you will enjoy the meals that are definitely cooked with love. Not only that, but you would also be helping this restaurant serve its lesser fortunate community members with healthy, delicious and very affordable food.
And if you are considering volunteering for them, do take a look at their website, facebook page or simply ask one of their enthusiastic and very friendly volunteers of the procedure. Trust me; it is not a complicated or elaborate process at all.

All in all, I give LENTIL AS ANYTHING a 5/5 rating and I wish to thank them and its patrons, volunteers and suppliers for their amazing contribution to the community as well as for giving me a strong reason to write again! I wish them luck and success and hope they continue to spread the spirit of community in more parts of Australia. I once again urge all my Melbourne and Sydney based supporters to go and check out this fabulous food-joint.

Till we meet again with another article,


Website: http://www.lentilasanything.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lentilasanythingsydney
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lentilasanythng

July Favorites :)

Hello good people!

I am finally back with a proper blogpost! I know I’m late but as I said in my previous post, “Sorryy”, I have recently moved apartments and it is only now (two weeks later) that I have begun to settle in properly. There are still certain things that are taking up a lot of time; one being work. The other is, my new internship. It is only my third week at the internship but it feels like I dove, head first, into all the work.
I am yet to find the perfect balance between the above two, my domestic chores, social life (which has been seeing a decline of late!) and my blog.
Here’s to taking baby-steps towards achieving that goal.

Today I thought I might bring to you something completely different from what I’ve done before.

As we are approaching the end of yet another month, I thought I might compile a list of all my ‘July Favorites’. This basically includes everything I’ve tried, tested, experienced and loved this month. I hope you enjoy.

Since I usually start the week with a music related post, I’ll do the same with this one.

Some of the songs that I’ve been playing over and over again have been listed here(in no particular order):
Becky G – Shower
Chris Brown ft Usher, Rick Ross – New Flame
Justin Timberlake – Not a Bad Thing
Paloma Faith – Only Love Can Hurt Like This
Declan Burgess – Forrest Gump (Cover)

The last one (but certainly not the least) is a cover that I urge everyone to check out. Declan Burgess is a friend of mine and I am being completely honest when I tell you that he sounds amazing. The song has been on repeat for almost a week and a half now. Go check him out on the link down below.

Television Shows:
To be honest, I haven’t had much time to watch a lot of television shows of late. There are many new shows that I would like to start watching though. Perhaps, I will find the time soon and include those in my August Favorites. But for now the only TV show that I’ve been watching and enjoying is


Fashion and Style:
Some of my current favorite pieces have been:
ASOS Cable Jumper in Oatmeal
ASOS T-Shirt
Topman loop scarf
I have mentioned all of the above in my previous blogpost, “Saturday bliss + OOTD/OOTN”. Be sure to check it out https://itssoovert.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/saturday-bliss-ootdootn/

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am a huge foodie. So it was only natural to include my favorite picks in the food department. They are:
Jordan’s Chunky Nuts
The Vegan Teahouse – Hazel (Chocolate & Hazelnut spread)

Jordan’s is available at any Coles and Woolworths (for my Australian friends), so make sure to definitely go out and buy some.
I bought the Chocolate & Hazelnut spread from the Cruelty Free Shop on Glebe Point Road(Sydney) at Vegan Day Out. I’ve provided the links to both The Vegan Teahouse as well as Cruelty Free Shop in case you want to buy something.

The Vegan Teahouse: http://www.theveganteahouse.com/
Cruelty Free Shop: http://www.crueltyfreeshop.com.au/

I haven’t really found any new apps that have blown me away. However a few that I have been using this past month are;
SaveMySnaps: I always wondered what the point of ‘Snapchat’ was if you cannot view a snap for more than couple of seconds. There have been several times, I’ve received some really cool or funny pictures from my friends, but before I can view the whole thing, it disappears – caput! And then one day I discovered this new app that would let me save the pictures for a better/longer viewing. Now when I get snaps from my friends in Tuscany, Madrid, Paris or Norway, I can always save them and view them better.
Audible: I know I’m late to the party with this one, but I have just downloaded Audible and have grown to like it. It’s a convenient way of enjoying a book, especially if you have to multi-task.
Gumtree: As you may all know by now, I have moved apartments. And this app was definitely a great help in helping me find options at times when I had no access to a computer.

Two new restaurants that I am happy to have found are;
Burger10 – This new fast food joint on Glebe Point Road serves some of the most delicious burgers I have had in a long time. I found this by chance while looking for a new joint to eat at with my ex-flatmate Ben, a couple of weeks ago. Their menu is quite different from any other burger joint, in that, they take inspirations from different cuisines from different parts of the world.
I chose to go with a Classic Beef Burger, which is a traditional American styled beef burger. And it was simply yummy. Ben on the other hand, ordered the Pork & Prawns Burge, a r Chinese inspired burger that uses steamed bun instead of the regular bun and uses Hoisin sauce in it (A little tip:- You may want to consider using cutlery for this one because it can get quite messy eating it). From what he said, it was very tasty.

Just Falafel: Those of you who know me personally know that, of late I have been reducing my meat intake. And ever since, I have been trying to find restaurants that serve good vegetarian food. While there are quite a few that serve elaborate vegetarian dishes, only a few serve vegetarian fast food. Just Falafel, caters to those who are looking vegetarian food on-the-go. This brand new eat-out on Lee St near Central Station serves vegetarian and few vegan sandwiches, wraps, salads and burgers.
While I was there two days ago, I decided to try their Indian Falafel and it was by far the best falafel I’ve had in recent times. The portion was huge, the falafels were succulent and the Indian sauces made for the perfect flavoring. Their prices are very reasonable and yes, they also make ‘Meals’ with fries and a drink. If you are ever around that area, make sure to go in and try some of their delicious food. I think this could be a healthy substitute for McDonald’s.

I found out about this drink while I was working at Good Food and Wine Show, Sydney that happened a few weeks ago.
CascadeGinger Beer
Seeing me run from pillar to post every day, one of the guys who worked at the Cascade kiosk felt sorry for me and gave me a huge bottle of Ginger Beer to drink. I was thankful to him for two reasons; a) for coming to my aid when I was tired and b) for introducing me to this drink. Now, I am usually not a huge fan of ginger beer nor do I fancy any drink in particular. But this one tasted so good, it even surprised me.
If you haven’t already, I highly suggest you go buy yourself a bottle. It is a very refreshing and tasty drink.


Youtube Videos:
I spend a lot of time on Youtube and I don’t know how I would pass time if it wasn’t around any longer. It is a goldmine for anyone looking to while away time 😛 So it was only natural for me to include some very interesting and ridiculously funny videos.

For almost 2 years now, I have been watching videos/ reading articles on a particular website. Through this site, I have been informed of many important issues that are happening around the world. The website is called Upworthy. Many of you may be familiar with the site. I follow them on Facebook and Twitter and think they do a wonderful job bringing newsworthy videos to young people.
Follow them if you want to receive informative and thought provoking videos like the ones below:

Skin Care:
I’m a guy who has extremely sensitive/combination skin and applying products containing chemicals aggravates my skin rather quickly. One product in particular that I hadn’t found luck with for a long time is moisturizer. The problem I’ve found with most moisturizers is that they either dry out too quickly or they irritate my skin. After a long search for a good moisturizer, I discovered the Aussie brand, Delicious Skin. Those with sensitive skin like me will be happy to know that their range of products is all-natural and 100% vegan. The products can be used by both men and women. I particularly love the Delicious Skin Silk Serum.

For more information go check out their website http://www.deliciousskin.com.au/

If I have to sum up this month in one word, it would have to be – chaotic. However, there have been certain moments that I will go on to cherish for a very long time. This list wouldn’t be complete without including them.
– Topping the list is my recent trip to Hunter Valley with some of my very good friends


– First time going clubbing with Ben (ex-flatmate) and my homies at Sidebar.


– Being nominated for Very Inspiring Blogger Award.


That concludes my ‘July Favorites’ list. I can’t believe how fast this month has gone by. But I am definitely excited to see what August has in store for me (only good things I hope).
If you guys enjoyed this post make sure to like, comment and hit that FOLLOW button. Also, if you guys have made a list of your favorites, make sure to let me know. I would love to read them 

Until my next post,
Take care!

Check Please!

Mornin everybody!

Hope ya’ll are doin mighty fine this Friday morning (I have no idea why I’ve suddenly gone Texan on you)! I’m feeling extra chirpy this morning and I am going to send out positive vibes to all of you, no matter where you are!
Today, I am going to do a review on a restaurant I visited recently. It is the Essenza Italian on Surry Hills.

Disclaimer: This is not a professional review but merely me sharing my experience at the restaurant, with some awesome readers. Also, I am not being paid by the restaurant to do so.

Hope that has helped put a lot of suspicious minds at ease. Now, moving on…
I happened to stumble upon Essenza’s Instagram account after they liked one of my pictures (obviously involving food!). I was just blown away by their pictures of yummy Risotto Marinara, Calamari Fritti, various meatball dishes and what not! Now those of you that know me well know that I have a weak spot for anything Italian, especially their food! So it was only obvious that I wanted to give Essenza Italian a try.

Wednesday night, my friend and I decided to catch up for dinner and I of course suggested we go to Essenza. Hardly a 15 minute walk from Broadway, the restaurant is comfortably nestled in the corner of Crown and Devonshire Street in Surry Hills. The restaurant isn’t very imposing architecture- wise, neither does it have a huge sign, which may cause a little difficulty in spotting it right away (especially at night). But once you find it, you will only be pleased to see that it in fact has a very cozy feel; both from the outside as well as the inside, as I found out later.

We were greeted to a very warm and romantic setting with dozen dimly lit candles all around. I did feel a little awkward being there with one of my closest-friends instead of a date, but then I realized I have way more fun with my friend anyway!

From the moment we were seated I was excited to go through their menu and see what they had to offer. However, when it finally arrived I must say I was quite disappointed. I couldn’t find many of the dishes that I saw on their Instagram page, on their menu. Maybe I was there at the wrong time? Or perhaps they have a different menu for larger groups where the other dishes are? In any case, I was quite bummed out.
They did however have some interesting items like Roast Lamb Rump with Caponata, Veal Involtini & Parmesan Polenta etc. After deliberating for what seemed like half an hour (we’re indecisive and talkative so, go figure) we finally decided to start off with some garlic bread for the table and then, I proceeded to opt for the Essenza Meatballs in Polenta (which is actually an antipasto :P) while my friend settled for the Spaghetti Marinara.

While we were waiting for our food to arrive, I noticed larger groups of people starting to come in and I was actually worried that it might get too noisy. Although the restaurant extends to an outdoor area at the back, the weather conditions were not exactly motivating enough for anyone to use it. I was however, pleasantly pleased that the atmosphere hadn’t changed despite the increase in customers. It seemed like everyone was respectful of the decorum of the restaurant as well as of other visitors. This gave my friend and me the opportunity to talk endlessly about completely random things, as we always do.
I wished I was sipping on some red wine while waiting but my throat wouldn’t have any of it, so I asked for some warm water instead. Now, one of the things that annoy me when I go to restaurants in Sydney is that most of them do not offer warm/hot water (which I will never understand!). However, not only did these guys offer to bring me hot water, but they brought it in a cute little tea-pot.
We were then served our garlic bread which came on a wooden serving board. The bread looked absolutely yummy; nice and crisp with a beautiful golden color. The downside to it was that we only got three slices of bread, which I thought was quite unfair considering that it tasted so good hahaha. They should probably consider increasing the portion to an even four!

Next we were served our main course (well in my case, antipasto). I was very content with my Essenza Meatballs in Polenta. I hadn’t tried the combination of meatballs and polenta before, but I loved it. The polenta was soft and had an almost buttery texture. The meatballs were cooked to the right amount and the sauce had a delectable tanginess to it. And for an antipasto, I must say it was quite filling.
My friend seemed pleased with her Spaghetti Marinara as well. I liked the fact that they sprinkled a generous amount of Parmesan and pepper on top while serving it. For those of you who are not cheese fans, do not worry, they ask you before-hand if you would like it or not. So you do have the option of skipping it.
I finished my meal with some hot peppermint tea (they do have quite a bit of options to select from, in the tea department). Although I would’ve loved nothing better than to indulge in some decadent Tiramisu or Panna Cotta, my throat like I said earlier, was being a stubborn jackass!
The tea helped a lot though. So for those of you out there with a scratchy throat, I recommend some hot peppermint tea.

At the cash register we were given bite-sized desserts (I forgot the name of it) which I thought was a pretty clever and innovative move of extending their customer-service till the exit. The price was not as fancy as the restaurant, which was definitely a plus sign.

All in all I was happy with my experience at Essenza Italian. The food is absolutely delicious; kudos to the chef! And the staff seemed nice and friendly. The atmosphere like I said is perfectly set for a romantic dinner. I’d definitely recommend this as a date place. However, if you’re single like me you can always rock up with your friends and have a good time. If you plan on going with a large group on a weekend, I would recommend booking in advance.
The only major drawback I found was the lack of choices on their menu, especially after you’ve looked at their Instagram account. Next time, I hope to clarify that with them.

Yes, there definitely is going to be a next time. And when that happens, I pray that my throat doesn’t act up so I can devour some yummy tiramisu!

I hope you guys enjoyed my little review of Essenza Italian. I give them a huge thumbs up and I recommend it to all of you that are looking for a new restaurant to head to.

With that thought, I bid you goodbye.
Have a Happy Friday! If you’re having a particularly tough day, just power through because the weekend is not far away!


Deliciously Thai

Hey everybody Matthew here! How’s it going?

So, I got up to a very late start today cas I was up until 2:00 am watching the match. Man and watta match it was! Both Nadal and Djoko were toe to toe till the very end. Towards the end of the fourth set and most of the fifth, Nadal kept working Djoko’s legs and I began to wish upon the stars for a miracle!  And come true it did! After 5 hours and 53 minutes, the never-ending story came to an amazing end (straight up Djokovic fan here!) when Djoko took the trophy home!

So, anywho, that explains (a bit more detailed than i thought) why I slept late. Woke up by 12:00pm today. God, it’s so hot outside! While some of my Aussie friends were making the most of it at beach parties, most them were relaxing at home with their air-conditioners on full-blast , drinking chilled beer. I, on the other hand, having had a late start, decided to have my first meal of the day at a Thai restaurant called “Your Thai” in Swanston. Besides the yummy food; the cute and cosy ambiance is what attracts me to this place. Though not very large in size, the bright green walls and colourful lights gives it the illusion of space. Also, it makes me feel like I’m part of some Anime!
I sat down and browsed through their menu and finally narrowed it down to “Nasi-Goreng” and “Avacado Smoothie”.

The Nasi-Goreng, which is Thai style fried rice with a combination of shrimp, prawns and chicken, was simply yummm !I think it was the “sambal oelek” (chili based sauce) that gave it a distinct flavor. A must try in my opinion.
My smoothie was good too!

Now I may not know a lot of Thai restaurants in Melbourne but I definitely would recommend this place to anyone who craves Thai food. Oh the smoothies here are to die for! Try the Coconut  Smoothie, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Just got back home a couple of minutes ago and I’m already making plans for tonight. Let’s see how that pans out.
Hope you enjoyed this post. Till my next one,