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,