Jetty 4
Barrack Square, Perth
Ph: 9221 3003

Feast on offer at Annalakshmi

Have been a long time visitor of Annalakshmi as I sometimes reminisce of the bygone days when it was housed on The Esplanade. In those days, as you took the lifts up to Annalakshmi, as the lift doors opened you would somehow be whisked into a magical world of Indian mystique. The daily grind of city life would be left behind as you got caught in the magical world of Annalakshmi and its offerings.

Today, Annalakshmi at its premises at the Barrack Square boasts a sweeping view of the Swan River as the dedicated volunteers from all walks of life continue to provide the fantastic Indian vegetarian fare for which Annalakshmi has gained a reputation for over the years. If you are coming from South Perth and making a day of it in the city, it's only a hop and a skip by ferry from Mend Street jetty on the South Perth foreshore to Barrack Street jetty in Perth.

As you take the stairs up to the restaurant on level 1, catch a glimpse of busy bees in the kitchen of Annalakshmi on the ground floor. Peer past those huge steel vats of curry and you will see a labour of love in the kitchen as Grandmas, mothers and fathers, and daughters and sons alike chop, dice, and stir to cook you up that delicious meal. Many of the volunteers are professionals by day and volunteer at Annalakshmi whenever they can spare the time.

The concept behind Annalakshmi is for volunteers to serve humanity through the arts and that they do with love and care through their fine food that they serve. Annalakshmi is the Goddess of Food and one of Annalaksmi's values is to treat the Guest as God. As a guest of Annalakshmi, you are encouraged to "Eat as you like and pay as you feel."

In turn, as a guest, Annalakshmi kindly requests that you do not waste food. They are appreciative that when you finish your meal, you take your plates to the trolley. And off course, don't forget your generosity to make a reasonable donation for what you eat.

Doors open at 12pm and as lunch gets underway, the stream of patrons seem to fill up the restaurant rather quickly. Weekends and weekdays alike are busy as city workers, tourists, students, and locals out shopping in the city drop in for a feed.

The standard fare on any given day at Annalakshmi is usually a soup, a combination of vegetarian curries and rice, and dessert. Help yourself to a plate and cutlery and what you will find on offer is usually a choice of two rice dishes, plain and yellow rice, a tamarind based soup, dahl, stir fried vegetables, either a mixed vegetable or a finely sliced cabbage and coconut one, and a potato dish.

Breads such as chapatti, puri, and uthappam pancakes are sometimes on offer and one of the volunteers will either distribute the bread behind the counter or go round to individual tables.

For dessert, a semolina or rice dessert with cashew nuts is usually up for grabs. On the odd occasion, they may have gulab jamun on offer. You can also help yourself to a cool drink, or tea and coffee at anytime.

Cooking classes and demonstrations, seminars on Ayurvedic Indian holistic medicine, and dazzling Indian dancing and other cultural performances in conjunction with their sister organisation The Temple of Fine Arts are also offered up by Annalakshmi. Note: the restaurant may be closed on particular days for private functions, so it is best to ring up to check whether they are open before you venture to Annalakshmi for a meal.

If you feel like some Annalakshmi whilst overseas, you may just be in luck as Annlakshmi has branches in India, Malaysia and Singapore.

Perth Walkabout's Rating: 8 out of 10

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