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

Subsidised solar anyone?

Residents Yarra wide will soon have access to subsidised solar panels through the Yarra Energy Foundation’s ‘Solar Bulk Buy’ program.

The program’s expansion comes after a successful trial in the neighbouring suburb of Richmond where there were more than 300 expressions of interest and solar capacity within the suburb increased by 10-12%.

The bulk buy gives residents access to market leading rates by aggregating suburbs of people and making a single discounted bulk purchase.

Yarra Energy Foundation acting chief executive Dean Kline said the program’s expansion will make solar power more accessible and affordable.

“The solar bulk buy, planned for early 2018, will give all Yarra residents the opportunity to purchase high quality solar photovoltaic (PV) systems for their homes or businesses at market leading rates.”

“This is the best option for homeowner’s eager to invest in solar power. The program’s scope means that we are able to demand quality materials with bulk purchase discounts.”

“This process makes it easy for households to make the move towards solar power because we organise everything from finding quality manufacturers, to overseeing installation and even project managing if required,” Mr. Kline said.

Solar powered panels installed as part of the program are predicted to have paid for themselves after five to eight years and PV systems are guaranteed for at least 25 years.

Saint Marys House of Welcome in Fitzroy received an eight kilowatt (Kw) solar PV system last September and business manager Kathy Hogarty said the donation makes a huge difference to their bottom line.

“Our services like hot showers, a warm place to relax and freshly prepared meals demand considerable electricity use and the solar panels save us about 10 to 12% on our monthly electricity bill.”

Solar piping can be used to heat water without gas or electricity. Photo: Joseph Regan

“That equates to around $2500 a year, which is enough money for us to provide meals to the homeless for a month.”

“The installation itself was quite seamless and a sideline to that it brought a level of awareness both to our organisation and the community at large where by people consciously thought about their own energy use,” Mrs. Hogarty said.

Doctor Jacek Jasieniak Monash university’s director of Energy Materials & Systems Institute said solar power is the most viable renewable energy option for those living in metropolitan areas.

“About 16% of Victorian households have solar power, which equates to about 400,000 homes. It’s a popular renewable energy option for metropolitan households because it is among the cheapest available and only limited by roof direction and size.”

“The average household uses between 20 – 25 kWh per day. To produce enough solar power to meet these energy demands a household would need 17 – 21 high powered panels at the minimum.”

“While it is unlikely that typical metropolitan houses will be able to go off grid, there is no impediment for local generation on a smaller scale that is used, passed back to the grid, or stored in a local energy storage system,” Dr. Jasieniak said.

Registrations for the Yarra Energy Foundation’s solar bulk buy are expected to open early 2018, for more information click here.

Written by Joseph Regan

Faces of Yarra

Bianca-Maria, Carlton

“I’m here in Australia with a working holiday visa, I work in an Italian restaurant; I’m there every day. My brother was living here, and I wanted to have this experience [of coming to Australia]. I like Carlton because, you know, I am Italian, and because of the food, and the culture is here, it’s great!”

Photo: Vanessa Orzlowski 

Celebrating Africa Day in Melbourne

A place of innovation, the sharing of bold ideas, professional development and social transformation; this is the Pan Afrikan Poets Café.

Established in 2015 by creator and curator, Sista Zai Zanda, Pan Afrikan Poets Café (PAPC) is the home of new, cutting-edge and classic African literature. “The African literature includes spoken word performance, literary readings, theatre and vocal performances,” Sista Zai said.

When conceiving the idea for Pan Afrikan Poets Café, Sister Zai decided to replace the ‘c’ in Africa with a ‘k’ to represent knowledge. It also is spelled that way among some African history circles.

Since its inception, PAPC has staged more than 100 performances in Melbourne, and will launch in Sydney on 26 March.

Sista Zai, a radio broadcaster and broadcast trainer at 3CR community radio, explained, “It’s more than just providing a platform for African and First Nations stories because there is also the very important step of mentorship.”

In April 2017, PAPC is offering three Open Art Labs – professional development opportunities for emerging African and First Nations storytellers – at 3CR.

In these Art Labs, participants will learn how to create a three-minute story for radio and live performance. Through a selection process, ten of the Open Art Lab participants will go on to present their work to a live audience on Sunday 28 May during a PAPC live radio broadcast in celebration of Africa Day.

PAPC has partnered with 3CR to broadcast the PAPC Africa Day event live from Afro Hub, a Carlton North restaurant that is dedicated to showcasing African talent.

The PAPC Africa Day Open Art Labs and Africa Day live broadcast have been made possible thanks to a grant of $7000 from the City of Yarra. The ten artists who perform on 28 May will receive $150 as payment for both their performance and written work.

The first Open Art Lab on 15 April will be facilitated by Candy Bowers. Bowers is the co-director of Black Honey Company – winner of the Total Theatre UK Award at the Edinburgh Fringe for its sell-out show, Hot Brown Honey – and the 2017 Green Room Award nominee for her leading role in Lillith: The Jungle Girl (Brothers Grimm and Melbourne Theater Company).

When asked about the Art Labs, Candy said, “Last year I had a really hectic year and I had those moments where I got to be still and hear literature and poetry and just hear from so many different people from Aboriginal and African backgrounds that it reminded me how important it was for me”.

“You will see an old Aboriginal man and a young African woman side by side, both telling you their perspective of a part of their life and it’s a beautiful thing.”

Alia Gabres will facilitate the Open Art Lab on 29 April. Gabres is creative producer at Footscray Community Arts Centre, where she has coordinated the West Writers Forum and iconic spoken word event, One Night Stanza.

Sista Zai Zanda will run the final radio skills labs on 25-27 May. No stranger to the performing arts arena, she has facilitated creative workshops in Australia, Zimbabwe and Denmark, and curated the program for the youth zone at the Harare International Festival of the Arts – of one of Africa’s top-ten festivals, according to Afro Tourism.

Sista Zai invites all emerging African and First Nations artists to contact her for more information about the Art Labs at or to attend an information session on Saturday 01 April at 3CR Community Radio Station, 21 Smith Street, Fitzroy from 11 am to 12.30 pm.

PAPC Africa Day event live from Afro Hub – 727 Nicholson Street, Carlton North. All are welcome to attend the free event beginning at 2.30pm.

Information on other upcoming PAPC events can be found on the PAPC Facebook page. Subscribe t0 receive notifications when events are announced.

Written by Grace Evans




Seize The Opportunity For Change: Community Meeting On Ending Family Violence

The Greens are hosting a community meeting on ending family violence called Seize The Opportunity For Change this Thursday.  Family violence is a serious issue in the community, highlighted by overwhelming statistics from White Ribbon Australia including:

  • On average, one woman is killed every week due to intimate partner violence.
  • Domestic and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and their children.
  • One in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence against them from someone they know.
  • One in four children are exposed to domestic violence.

Attendees of the community meeting will have the opportunity to hear Rosie Batty’s story. Batty is a strong advocate and campaigner for women and children affected by family violence since her son was murdered by his father in February this year. Other notable speakers include Dr Chris Atmore, a Senior Policy Adviser at the Federation of Community Legal Centres and Rodney Vlais, Acting CEO of No to Violence Family Violence Prevention Association and the Men’s Referral Service. Together with Kathleen Maltzahn, the Greens candidate for the state seat of Richmond, they will outline a vision of tackling men’s violence against women and children in Victoria for the State Election and beyond.

Seize The Opportunity For Change is on Thursday 4th September from 7-10pm at the Richmond Town Hall, 333 Bridge Road, Richmond.

Visit the website for more information and visit the Facebook event page to RSVP.