One souvlaki to rule them all

After a night out on the town, some would say, nothing on earth compares to a big, fat, greasy souvlaki.

Fitzroy’s Brunswick street is home to some of Melbourne’s best venues, for an evening out and the subsequent 4 am souvlaki that follows.

Four shops near the corner of Brunswick and Johnson Streets dominate Fitzroy’s souvlaki game, each bringing a special style and flavour to one of the world’s most loved hangover cures.

At the Yarra Reporter, we have selflessly sacrificed our Saturday morning to talk to locals and comprehensively taste test each souvlaki to answer once and for all which is best!

Lambs on Brunswick, located at 314 Brunswick Street, serves your traditional, no frills souvlaki with a choice of home made sauces.

Richmond local and late night souvlaki enthusiast Lucas Anderson said Lambs on Brunswick is your best bet for a late night feed.

“Lambs is my favourite spot, the guys in there are super efficient and always send your food out fast.”

“My only issue with lambs is that sometimes I find they char their meat slightly too much,” Lucas said.

Of the four shops on Brunswick street, Lambs sits right in the middle value wise with a souvlaki starting at $11.

The Real Greek Souvlaki at 315 Brunswick Street offers a slightly more upmarket souvlaki, as well as an array of moreish sweets and treats including homemade baklava and kataifi.

The Real Greek Souvlaki is slightly more expensive than Lambs with standard souvlaki’s starting at $12.

Real Greek Souvlaki. Photo: Joseph Regan

However, Fitzroy locals Jacob Friest and Andrea Crocco believe the one dollar premium is entirely justified.

“Of all the shops on the strip Real Greek easily has the most appetising spread – all the food looks really fresh and you can tell everything’s hand-made.”

“Out of the four, Real Greek is the place to go,” they said.

Chubbys Kebab, Pizza and HSP might be the best value on Brunswick Street, with the going rate for a souvlaki at a measly $9.50, but regular Chubbys’ customer and Fitzroy local Adam Crew said that there’s a clear reason the souvlakis are the cheapest on the strip.

Chubbys kebab, pizza and HSP. Photo: Joseph Regan

“At the end of the day Chubbys is cheap and nasty, it’s the kind of place you go late at night and it tastes good at the time, but you pay for it the next day.”

“In saying that I think they have the best bread on the strip, particularly the Turkish bread,” Adam said.

Souvlaki King at 311 Brunswick Street also serves souvlaki’s starting at $11, however locals know that this isn’t value-for-money.

Lucas Anderson said that of the four shops on the strip, Souvlaki King is easily the most forgettable.

“Souvlaki King is alright, but it’s not the first place I would be going, in fact it’s probably the fourth,” Lucas said.

All four souvlaki shops on Brunswick Street are open until 5 am, so if you’re ever feeling so hangry you could ‘squirrel grip’ your brother we at The Yarra Reporter would recommend The Real Greek Souvlaki.

Written by Joseph Regan

Fussy consumers and the food waste fight

Anthony James, leader of The Rescope Project, believes, to reduce the surplus of wasted food the community must change its ideals of how produce should look. Fitzroy is set to receive an education on food wastage when The Rescope Project comes to town tomorrow, July 19to encourage sustainability for a brighter future.

There’s no denying the Yarra community is an eco-friendly bunch, already having done much to combat food waste through council initiatives such as Food Know How.

“We work with residents and households to avoid creating food waste in the first place,” explains Food Know How project manager Matthew Nelson.

Are we being too shallow in our food choices? Photo: Michael Moloserdoff

While community initiatives encouraged by Food Know How such as food swaps and community gardens, along with measures taken by residents within the home have gone a long way to reduce the surplus of wasted food, are our attitudes about how our food should look holding us back from winning the food waste fight for good?

It has long been a trend of supermarkets to toss fruits and vegetables deemed visually unappealing in order to meet consumers’ aesthetic expectations.

The Rescope Project leader Mr James said: “It’s interesting that we seek that idea of perfection in the first place … we get lost in the details of perfection as opposed to what counts in life; good healthy food from a healthy ecosystem. Whether an apple’s got a little lump on it is by-the-by; in fact it becomes a quality test of the real kind because you’ve got it closer to [its] source.”

Fitzroy is a popular location for dumpster divers Photo: Alice WIlson

Mr James isn’t the only one holding this opinion. Skip-dipping, dumpster diving, whatever you may call it; the growing trend of ‘freegan’ living is becoming a popular choice for those fed up with the amount of food wasted due to the community’s search for picture-perfect fruit and veg.

“A large portion of society has grown up with ridiculous regulations on how our food should look. Banana too straight? Throw it out. Apple has a spot on it? Throw it out.”

Ricardo Potoroo, began dumpster diving after becoming aware of food waste caused by food sellers. He wants more pressure placed on supermarkets to dispose of excess food more responsibly.

“Councils have an ethical duty to put more pressure on supermarkets and wholesalers to donate their excess produce back to the community,” he said.

Fellow ‘diver’ Gabrielle Paz-Liebman agrees. “Councils need to work harder to create some very strong laws around food waste, but not in ways that keep the power within supermarkets.”

While it’s true that supermarkets fuel our high standards, and should be doing more to ensure what is discarded is done so in a more responsible manner, is it down to only them and councils to shoulder the blame?

Anthony James says no: “Local councils are responsible for mediating and encouraging the community to get more informed on these issues… Where does responsibility lie in general? It’s across the board,” he said.

This view is also held by Bree Fomenko of Food Without Borders, an upcoming food rescue program orchestrated by Lentil as Anything, the pay-as-you-feel vegan haunt operating out of several locations across Melbourne, including the Yarra’s own Abbotsford.

“Broadly speaking, food retailers can implement actions to reduce the amount of food wasted. However, responsibility must also be shared by consumers in the choices made when purchasing and disposing of food items.

“As consumers, we’ve become accustomed to aesthetically perfect products and beautifully-designed packaging.

“For example, perfectly smooth, red tomatoes are often favoured over ones with a few blemishes, but the nutritional content and taste-factor may be the same.”

Once up and running, Food Without Borders hopes to work with food retailers to repurpose unwanted food, minimising waste and helping those in need, along with raising awareness of the implications of food waste and encouraging positive actions to reduce waste among the community.

Ventures such as Lentil’s Food Without Borders is a step in the right direction to further reduce waste in the Yarra community, and if locals can lower their standards while shopping, a sustainable future becomes much more obtainable.

The Rescope Project is on at the Bargoonga Nganjin North Fitzroy Library, 182/186 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North, Wednesday, July 19 from 6pm-7pm.

To register for The Rescope Project’s free event, visit the Yarra City Council’s What’s On for further details.

Written by Alice Wilson

Schools out, rock out. Shimmerlands festival to take over Melbourne Uni campus

The University of Melbourne has decided to use up vacant space over summer in a way that will have the students running back to school when they would usually run away.

Shimmerlands is a new two-month long festival run by event producing group Shadow Electric, aiming to enliven the University of Melbourne in Parkville over the summer break.

Kicking off January 1 and running until February 26, the festival will include film, music, art and hospitality both during the day and during the balmy summer nights.

The indoor concert hall and outdoor music amphitheatre will host a plethora of local and international acts, and Shadow Electric’s Creative Director Jay Rayner says there will be no limitations on genre.

There will be six major outdoor music shows across the two months, one being Brooklyn-based Parquet Courts with further big announcements to follow.

“The advantage of Shimmerlands running over two months is that we can be more curatorial about our selection of artists and lineup, and can even be confirming acts during January and February,” Jay said.

Courtney Barnett performing at a previous Shadow Electric event.
Courtney Barnett performing at a previous Shadow Electric event. Photo: Shadow Electric

Shimmerlands hopes to showcase all of Melbourne’s thriving music scene, with local promoters and tastemakers crafting the music program.

The event will also host an outdoor cinema to rival the Outdoor Cinema at Abbotsford Convent: the project that originally brought Shadow Electric into the public eye.

The film program will host over 45 major new releases including the new Ghostbusters and La La Land, alongside contemporary independent films, music documentaries and favourite cult classics.

Shadow Electric Outdoor Cinema event
Shadow Electric Outdoor Cinema event. Photo: Shadow Electric

The Cinema will be one of four main precincts at Shimmerlands hosting a range of both ticketed and public proceedings, together with The Pavilion, Live Music arena and The Food Quarter.

The Pavilion will be the heart of the event, with the structure having been designed by Ha Architects and University of Melbourne graduates. And housing a bar and areas for relaxing, the multiple drinking and dining options in the Food Quarter will get the attention of local foodies.

Melbourne foodie Jess Ho has fetched over 20 of Melbourne’s best restaurants to present outdoor kitchen installations for the event. This includes St Ali, Pho Nom, Pidapip Gelateria, Chadong Mumma, Trattoria Emilia and many more.

“The idea behind Shimmerlands was to create something new, internationally appealing and culturally relevant to Melbourne, and all within the urban gem of the University of Melbourne,” Rayner said.

Afternoons at Shimmerlands. Photo: Shadow Electric

Shadow Electric was founded in 2011 and the founders Jay Rayner and David Chetwig were quick to grow a name for themselves after multiple successful music and cinematic events.

Now taking on their most elusive event yet, the boys are excited to see it all come together.

Be sure to check out their website for updates in the lead up to January 1. Shimmerlands will be adding performances, acts and screenings daily as well as massive announcements.

Written by Caitlyn Leggett

11 Reasons Why The Yarra Is Ace: A World Photo Day Celebration

It’s world photo day and we want to celebrate 177 years of photography by showcasing what makes the City of Yarra so amazing. Here are just a few reasons that we’re humbled to be part of the Yarra community.

1. Respecting and acknowledging the Wurundjeri people, who are the traditional owners of this land.



2.  The art – fine art, street art, performance art, you name it, we got it.


Installation of James Bonnici’s new solo exhibition at Lindberg Galleries. @lindberggalleries @jamesbonniciart

A photo posted by LINDBERG GALLERIES (@lindberggalleries) on



The most creative traffic light busking I have ever seen! #busking #circusact #circus #hoddlestreet #melbourne 👌😂😜

A photo posted by c o r r i n e | n e w m a n (@rinnie_newman) on



3. With hundreds of places to park your behind, food definitely makes the list.


A photo posted by @cookingwithangandnik on





4. Inclusion, acceptance, tolerance and humanity feature strongly throughout the Yarra community.

When he left traces of rainbow prints so you won’t get lost 🌈 #morning #coffeehunting #gertrudest #victoria #melbourne #rainbow

A photo posted by Anisa Ornella Octaviana (@ornellanor) on



@cityofyarra we salute you. 👍 even if I did get a parking fine in Smith Street…

A photo posted by Blanka Dudas (@icamebyboat) on



5. The diversity, rich culture, beautiful colours and flavours. Without these we’d probably be South Yarra (not that there’s anything wrong with that).


#johnstonstreetfiesta #spanish #festival #paella #hispanic #melbourne 💃

A photo posted by SOPHIA ARGIRIOU | MELBOURNE (@emeraldwink) on



Come celebrate Melbourne’s vibrant hispanic community, today is the final day of the #johnstonstreetfiesta for 2015.

A photo posted by Food/events/bars/restaurants (@melbournetodo) on




6. There’s a never-ending list of things to see and do.

Here’s to capturing the last days of the Gertrude Street Projection Festival @_gspf.

A photo posted by True Tribe (@true_tribe) on




7. Who could forget Mary Rogers helping people cross the street over on Bridge Road in Richmond


// councils efforts to represent women via their social media streams.



8. I’m going to leave this one blank because i don’t know how to describe whatever this is.



9. Love it or hate it the deconstructed coffee is said to have originated in Abbotsford…



Oops wrong one, sorry about that. Here it is…



10. The iconic Edinburgh Gardens. A place for friends, family and community.



Which more importantly, is the location of a Pikachu.



11. And last but not least is Yarra’s commitment to sustainability.




Unfortunately Kanye’s Pablo pop-up store didn’t make the list, better luck next time buddy.


By Tiyana Matliovski

Good Food and Wine Show on this weekend

3 dishes of food

If you love tasty food and wine, then you’re in for a treat this weekend. The Good Food and Wine Show started today and is finishing on Sunday June 1st at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Learn how to cook from some of Australia’s most talented chefs, such as Matt Moran and Adam D’Sylva, by watching them cook a three-course meal live on stage. You may be inspired to cook yourself and participate in the many masterclasses on offer, ranging from preparing an Italian breakfast with 2011’s MKR winners Sammy and Bella to learning how to make the famous Zumbarons with Adrian Zumbo. For those more content to eat their way through the exhibition, you will be able to sample some of Australia’s finest wines and cheeses, graze on tucker from Melbourne’s most popular food trucks, or pick up some fresh produce at the Farmers ‘Market Lane.

Sure to be an enjoyable day and you’ll go home very full too.

– yarraReporter team