Last weekend I went to Cibi café in Collingwood for a Japanese breakfast. Breakfast at Cibi’s is always good but you have to get there early as they often sell out. Their traditional Japanese breakfast consists of rice, grilled salmon, tamago-yaki (Japanese-style omelette), potato salad, ingen no gomae (green bean salad with sesame dressing), and a miso soup packed with veggies that will have you tossing away your instant packets immediately. The soup is served in comfort-inducing Japanese lacquer-ware bowls. The open-plan kitchen sits in the centre of the café, an island of activity feeding the sleepy Saturday morning crowd.

‘Cibi’ (pronounced chibi) means ‘a little one’ in Japanese, and is the inspiration behind owner/architect Zenta’s concept for the warehouse space—a haven for childlike wonder and whimsy. After breakfast we browsed the beautiful goods in the other half of the space—designer tenugui, ceramic bowls and ergonomic condiment holders, bento boxes and cutlery. They are currently selling works by Japanese industrial designer Sori Yanagi, famous for his fabulous butterfly stool amongst other items.

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