Cibi (Japanese for little one) has become well known for its honest and delicate approach to food and its restrained but ultimately stylish interior. Clever little design touches and objects such as an old Apple Mac used as a doorstop and a vintage track bike accent an gestalt interior that is more about the sum of its eclectic parts than a heavily stylised fit-out.
With multiple seating options, from large communal tables to vintage bench seats, there are many ways to whittle away the hours.
Unsurprisingly Cibi has built up a reputation for its Japanese breakfast, which is only served on Saturdays for $14.50. Made up of a homemade light miso soup with carrot, tofu and seaweed, followed by a delicately presented offering of rice, shiozake (salt cured grilled salmon), with sides of potato salad, mini slivers of cucumber and perfectly formed ovals of tamago (egg roll) it’s a great way to start the day. The vegetarian version comes with wonderfully piquant pickled pumpkin that is both sour and deliciously sweet.
The other food on offer is similarly light; from a beautiful soba noodle salad with cherry tomatoes and finely diced green olives bathed in a dashi and soy dressing, to sourdough toast with potato salad and a tofu burger. A lot of the Japanese dishes on offer are based on owner Meg Tanaka’s grandmother’s recipes, making Cibi a little slice of Tokyo in the quiet back streets of Collingwood.