About The Show

Nine years ago, charismatic Sri Lankan migrant Shanaka Fernando dropped out of law school to open ‘Lentil As Anything’, a crazy little restaurant in Melbourne where there are no prices, no cash registers, and no rules – but where you can always get a great vegetarian meal even if you can’t pay a cent. Today Shanaka runs a string of busy pay-as-u-feel venues staffed by 100 migrants from all around the world, who rely on the organization for work, training, accommodation, driving lessons and a vital social network.  Shanaka even won the Australian of The Year Local Hero award in 2007.  But while he may be a visionary, he’s no business manager, and his quixotic creation has racked up a huge debt that’s threatening to sink the whole organization and pull everyone down with it.  Now the question is – can a place that relies solely on human generosity survive in this world; or will it be torn apart by competing egos, chronic chaos and crippling debt?

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Episode 3 : Back to the funda-lentils
Thursday 11 February 2010, 8:30PM

Lentil as Anything, the dream of Sri-Lankan migrant Shanaka Fernando, is in freefall. His chain of pay-as-u-feel restaurants owe a whopping ...

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