Lentil As Anything - Fundraiser Dinner @ Tuesday, December 02, 2014

This is more of a mini review, and it was definitely not in my comfort zone. 

Friday Dinner we had in Abbortsford far far away on the other side of the city (we came from Bayswater), at Lentil(s) as Anything. I always feel it's missing an 's' there. Anyway, since I've heard about Lentils I've always wanted to go there, and that we did once. At the St Kilda location which wasn't a buffet, but your typical order a la cart, so we weren't getting the real experience. That experience was average, but I was very willing to give it another chance. And that opportunity popped-up literally on my facebook feed!

In time with 'The Age's Good Food Week' and also 'Good Food Month' Lentils held a fundraising dinner for renovations, and for a good cause we're always happy to go. Also specifically I will not go to places where you have to pay "donate" at every step and between every course with a duration of an hour or so between each. Charity balls I'm looking at you. 

Inside it was It was loud and service was interesting. Pictures of the same style featured on the walls, all highlighting people having a great time, with a swirl or cannon of colour and distortions. Not everyday pictures. We wonder if they were taken by the same person.

Normally Lentils is a buffet/all you can eat, and you can help yourself - I read.
Though tonight it's a set menu with options for mains.

Three waiters took our order, a loud group of others who got there before us got their orders first. Jas would like to point out no one is trained and they're all volunteers who probably don't work in a restaurant.

Cabbage & Onion Pakoras with Nepalese Tomato Sesame Chutney

This was unlike anything I've ever had, it was like deep fried battered cabbage & onion with a lovely homemade tomato chutney (chunky sauce with more than just tomato, water, sugar and vinegar/salt). I like it!

Moroccan Sweet Potato & Capsicum Dip with Toasted Almonds (Left)
Kale, Wild Fennel & Feta Filo Pastry with House-Made Pickle (Right)

So the first line is the dip, which is the thing on the left. In a way I like that the menu item pretty much has all the ingredients listed but at the same time I feel overwhelmed, there's just too many words I don't understand (more on the main part though). The dip had great flavours (I'll make this at home) and was perfect served with pita bread (pictured but under the pile of turnip (?) sticks).

Kale I've never tried before (especially kale chips, baked leaves, why?!) but it was fine when wrapped in pastry, I will eat pretty much anything in pastry - and I don't like a lot of veggies. While these weren't soggy they were well soft, I prefer them crunchy and hot out of the oven. And often served dipped in sour cream.  

Creamy Coconut & Wimmera Chickpea Korma with Rice, 
Pickled Vegetable Achard & a Papadum

Reading that name, I understand it's a rice dish, with a sauce and veggies. Korma is a vegetables braised in a spiced sauce made with yogurt, cream, nut or seed paste. And it was very yummy, I love the sauce and rice together. The veggies however were yucky - as a toddler who doesn't like most green things. 

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Smoked Wine Tofu, 
Pea & Mint Puree and Pickled Red Cabbage

Meanwhile jas had the tofu which he really liked! For he almost licked the plate - if no one was watching. XD He was very impressed by the presentation and all the flavours throughout the night (yes dinner took an entire night) saying it looked and taste like something that would fit right in at a fancy restaurant with mains $25+. That top red thing was just bad camera angles - it ends with the green garnish.

Semolina Halwa with Cardamon Orange Blossom Syrup & Mascarpone

This was the only thing tonight that was bland - and by bland I mean like a block of flour, that was what the block you see above is. But when drowned in the sweet & fragarent syrup it was nice, but still different. Sadly there was not enough liquid for the size of the block. And while the syrup was lovely it wasn't sweet enough to be called a syrup.

This part you can read in the picture above *click to enlarge*.

I was thinking the legs might belong to that guy, someone from Adventure Time? but you couldn't balance the bigger box on top of one smaller than it.

Service was too slow and after dinner we were going to have hot chocolate (we did order) though after 20mins of waiting we left. It wasn't that they were friendly, just we have no idea why everything takes so long. One waiter had 3 cups of coffee and bought them out and then in again, unsure who ordered them. 

The food was great in presenatation and tasty, full of flavours but not my style. I like chicken. Entree was nice and so was the main which was like a ragu/lentil soup, and dessert was odd. I need sugar! The syrup was lovely, but we need more of it.

We're coming but for the buffet (well sampler for me) experience, even though I think the food is strange and love my meat and a menu I understand. Perhaps Lentils is just too hispter/green for me. But this place would be a delight to vegetarians & vegans. 

Have you been to Lentils?
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