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Indian-pay what you want

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We visited Annalakshmi this week. A unique concept for sure, it’s an all buffet, vegetarian Indian spread…that you pay what you want for. Think it’s only worth $25SGD? That’s all you pay. Think it’s work more, leave more. No bill, no prices, just pay what you want…..

From the website:

It is run largely by volunteer staff who joyfully serve in an assortment of restaurant activities; cooking, serving, setting & clearing tables, dish washing, taking orders, transporting etc. They do not “work” for “shift hours” just to make a living. They volunteer and dedicate their time because they find joy in the underlying philosophy of serve, love and give. There is no hierarchical organization structure with policies and strategies to make profit. No reporting to supervisor. It is an example of a group of like-minded hearts coming together to serve.

I’m sure it’s just my American (Capitalist Pig) Gringo roots, that find the whole thing a little unsettling. Profits from the restaurants go to something called the Temple of Fine Arts. I won’t dig too far into that arrangement, suffice to say I enjoyed the meal and no one tried to ‘convert’ me to anything, so it wasn’t bad at all.

In fact, the food was quite good.  It’s a large buffet, with several breads, lentils, cauliflower, yummy red lentil patties, rice, and a few other things that I could not identify, but were very tasty. It was a great way to try some things we don’t normally see. Often the hawker foods all have the same stuff in slightly different forms. This had some items we not seen before and since it was buffet, we could try them in small portions without committing to a whole dish. It was good enough that we went back for seconds….

Drinks are limited and you can have what they put out, but after that don’t expect much. After all since they are volunteers, you just sort of go with the flow…

You can read more about them here:


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