About | Lentil as Anything


Our Philosophy

Lentil as Anything is a unique not for profit community organisation. At our core are the pay as you feel restaurants where 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.

Our philosophy has been working successfully for over 13 years now, with three long-standing restaurants in Abbotsford Convent, St Kilda and Footscray, and now also in Preston and Sydney, with a growing involvement in education and ongoing community projects.


Our Restaurant : How it works

  • Come to one of our restaurants for lunch or dinner or even breakfast at Abbotsford convent and in St Kilda
  • Choose what you’d like to eat
  • Enjoy a delicious meal, have a chat, listen to some music in a warm community space
  • Reflect on your feeling and decide how much you want and can contribute to this unique experience, and put some money in one of our magic boxes in the restaurant (EFTPOS also available at all our restaurants).

Be part of a unique financial model that is centred on the values of trust, generosity and respect that gives people the opportunity to eat out and be social regardless of their financial situation. Why do we do this? Because Everyone has a right to feel valued and respected, money should help bring people together not divide us.

We would love to welcome you as part of our community. We extend our hospitality offering you vegetarian cuisine cooked with love and gratitude. Our unique financial model relies on your generosity in order to pay our rent, utilities, wages and stock



Our Mission

  • Caring for people: Provide a wholesome and nutritious meal where money is not a concern.
  • Promoting Multiculturalism: Fostering an environment of inclusion and not exclusion.
  • Reforming Society: Acting on the structures of society to restore justice.
  • Extending/Spreading it’s ethos and values: Hiring volunteers, the long-term unemployed and the marginalised.
  • Encouraging: Young people to be active citizens and get involved in community based initiatives



Our Values

  • Human Dignity: Respecting the sanctity of life and affirm the worth and capacity of all people.
  • Justice: Acting with integrity and fairness, without discrimination, and being an advocate for the disadvantaged by managing all resources responsibly.
  • Hope: Work for reconciliation, healing and transformation of all people.
  • Compassion: Engaging others in the spirit of inclusion and addressing their needs.
  • Community: Owning our common humanity as we engage with people, working and journeying together, for mutual capacity building.




Our Board



Shanaka Fernando

Shanaka is the Founder of Lentil as Anything. Originally from Sri Lanka, Shanaka travelled extensively, sharing the lives of indigenous people


Tasneem Chopra

Currently a Curator at the Immigration Museum, Tasneem runs a Cross Cultural Consultancy, delivering presentations and projects.


Rob Wood

Host of the international community at the Australia-Pacific Centre for Initiatives Of Change for 28 years


Debbi Long

Debbi is a Medical Anthropologist, teaching at Melbourne and Deakin Universities. She is the founder of the Health Anthropology network


Christopher Lappas

Christopher Lappas is co-founder and director of boutique publishing house Ilura Press. His academic qualifications and interests include ethics,


Judith Pimentel

Profile coming soon


Katrina Webb

Katrina is originally from New Zealand and has so far spent her career working for not-for-profit organisations with a high need and value on volunteers.


Ken Baird

Ken Baird was born in Oz and raised in Ireland – his dual citizenship has allowed him to travel extensively, immersing himself in various cultures and communities.

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