Friday, July 15, 2011

July 10, 2011: Cibi

Cibi has been on our list of places to visit for ages - who wouldn't be keen on the idea of Japanese style breakfast in the backstreets of Collingwood? It's not far off Smith Street but it still managed to be well hidden - the rest of Keele St is a pretty quiet mix of warehouses and homes, and all the foot traffic we saw was heading straight towards Cibi. Inside it's a cute mix of trendy Japanese design shop and slightly ramshackle cafe. We didn't spend any time wandering through the expensive kitchenware displays, instead focussing our attention straight onto the breakfast menu.

There are a mix of options, from fairly standard dishes like bircher muesli ($8.5) and avocado on toast ($7) to their more renowned Japanese-style dishes. Inspired by Jess' positive review, Cindy went for the tofu burger (Cibi home-made tofu pate with light teriyaki sauce, shiso leaves, cucumber and green leaves, $9.5)

I snuck a quick taste and was very, very impressed - the tofu patty was superb, the sauce sweet and salty and the bun (despite its imposing size) was fresh and light. Cindy found it a little challenging to eat - the patty was pretty squishy and saucy and the bun was dusted with mess-making flour.

I went for the obvious choice - the vegetarian Japanese breakfast (Pumpkin ninimo, free range egg tamagoyaki, seasonal green vegetables and potato salad, served with organic brown rice and heartful miso soup, $16.5). It's worth noting that these are only available on the weekends.

The miso soup (sneaking in the corner of the picture) was outstanding, rich with vegetables and tofu and loaded with flavour. A good warming start. The tamagoyaki (rolled omelette) was light and delicate, the pumpkin sweet and tender and the potato salad creamy and delicious. My favourite component of the dish though was the little plate of gloriously seasoned green beans - I could have eaten a whole plateful. I need more Japanese breakfasts! The only downside was the weather - Miso aside, this is a brekkie better suited to a warm summer's day.

We couldn't resist ending the meal with some sweets - a moist and tangy raspberry frangipane tart and a couple of cute little rum'n'raisin white chocolates were a great end to a fantastic meal.


Cibi is uniformly popular - check out reviews at: Happiness is a Warm Gut, Ryan on Coffee, Mel: Hot or Not, Fitzroyalty, The Jess Ho, NYC Life, Sarah Cooks, The Big V, 6lumens, Melbourne Gastronome, My Delicious Blog, Tomato and Tummy Rumbles.


45 Keele Street, Collingwood
9077 3941
Vegie meals: $6-$16.50

Accessibility: The entry is flat and the tables are spread out enough for easy manoeuvrability. Ordering happens at the table and payment happens at a low counter. There's a small step on the way to the unisex bathroom.


  1. You missed out not trying those green tea muffins I spy in that pic.

  2. sounds great - I think that we need more cafes with kitchenware designer shops incorporated into them

  3. I've not heard abt this place, but it sounds great! Thanks for mentioning, I'm keen to check it out. :)

  4. They looked good, Ed, but Michael's a sucker for berries.

    Johanna, I'm not sure I'd like the temptation. :-D

    You're welcome, Fatbooo. :-)