Imagine a restaurant business model where, at the end of lunch, diners pay what they think the meal was worth. A risky proposition, to be sure, but one that has been put into practice at Annalakshmi and seems to have done them no harm. The buffet counter is entirely vegetarian – dhals, soups, cauliflower curry, yoghurt dips, papadums – with everything cooked daily. It’s low-fuss, home-spun cooking that wins our vote for its earnestness and complete lack of pretension. At the end, payment amounts to a donation to the restaurant (and its support for sister organisation, the Temple of Fine Arts), but really, anything less than $5 per head would be a disgrace.