Cibi is a Collingwood institution. Couple Zenta and Meg Tanaka opened the Japanese cafe and lifestyle concept store back in 2008. Since then, it’s become known for selling beautiful homewares and serving Japanese breakfast sets.
Earlier this month, the space expanded to include Cibi Grocer and Cibi Home, two dedicated spaces inside the existing Keele Street location.
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For those struggling with the eternal “What should I have for lunch?” question, Cibi Grocer offers homemade salmon, chicken and veggie bento boxes, as well as salads like daikon and lotus-root chips with yuzu-mayo dressing, and carrot, yellow beans, broccoli and mixed leaves with yuzu-miso.
There’s also a coffee bar for takeaway brews made using the cafe’s own blend, plus a pastry case where you’ll find cheese straws with yuzu pepper, yuzu palmiers, brekkie rolls and more. The Cibi Grocer space closes at 6pm – so, as the afternoon draws nearer, you can also order an aperitif or a glass of Cibi wine (the brand’s newest product, made in collaboration with Yarra Valley’s Mac Forbes Wines).
The new grocery concept space is reminiscent of Morning Market, with the team selling thoughtfully presented produce, including products from popular restaurant supplier Ramarro Farm in the Dandenong Ranges. There are also Cibi’s own condiments, including sweet miso, tamari soy sauce and roasted sesame seeds, which will be familiar to fans of the cafe.
Furniture dominates the new Cibi Home section. Cibi is the sole Melbourne stockist of Tendo Mokko, a Japanese furniture brand renowned for pieces made from formed plywood – often with curved detailing – and most famous for its mushroom stool.
In addition to the ceramics and other homewares previously found at Cibi, the new section has Noguchi lampshades made from washi paper, bamboo and steel wire, clocks from Japanese brand Lemnos and the Sori Yanagi-designed butterfly stool.