The inevitable 'list'. Every food lover has got one (especially those who live in big cities), and it always ends up being ridiculously long once it starts. I track mine with the Urbanspoon wishlist, as I like how easy it is to see what I've recently bee interested in, or if there's anything on my 'list' in a particular area that I might be in the mood to go to. How do you guys do it?
One spot that's been on this 'list' for-absolutely-ever is Cibi. I've always been intrigued by the Japanese inspired menu that is mentioned on the website, but have always had the impression that it's a small space and would be hard to get a table at, and not to mention parking since it's just off the shopping end of Smith Street.
I do love to be proven wrong about these things.
After seeing a post Agnes wrote about Cibi, I was determined that weekend to visit for myself. I was absolutely pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to get a park down the side streets off Smith, how spacious Cibi was and that we could get a table in an instant, even with the perfectly sunny weather which meant droves of people were out and about.
Cibi is half cafe, half adorable Japanese style homewares, which meant, if it weren't for Brad, I would have probably spent all the money I had left in my bank account to make my kitchen look cute. It's quite dangerous.
The cafe side is high ceilings and a myriad of mismatched chairs and tables. Just perfectly charming against clean white walls and a pop of colour from an art piece or two.
I loved that our table was one of those old sports boards where they record the winner of some cup or competition each year. Bit sad to see that this particular board wasn't around for very long!
On the weekends Cibi offer up a Japanese breakfast plate, based on a traditional grandmother's breakfast. It's not a long menu, with only three items, which makes selection pretty straight forward.
Brad settled in with this latte, whilst I indulged myself with a lovely green tea (no chai around here).
Brad ordered the 'Ultimate' breakfast with a grilled salmon fillet, tamagoyaki (a free-range egg omelette), seasonal green vegetables, potato salad, home-made pickles (tsukemono), Natto (fermented soy-beans), Umeboshi (sour plum) and nori (dried seaweed) served with brown rice and a heartful (just following what the menu says) miso soup.
The tsukemono, natto, umeboshi and nor were all served on a separate plate, and Brad took his time to pick through them as each provided quite a different mouthfeel and flavour. I recall the umeboshi being particularly lip-puckeringly sour, but did leave a nice aftertaste.
My 'More Vegetables' breakfast was essentially the same as Brad's, but with pumpkin nimono replacing the salmon, and without the extra plate of nibbles.
I adored how simple and clean the breakfast plates were, leaving you feeling quite nourished with all the goodness present. It's not served piping hot, but more of a 'cool' temperature, which is quite refreshing on a warmer day. I adored how sweet and smooth the pumpkin was and naturally loved the sweet tamagoyaki's as well.
The miso soup, which I forgot to take a picture of, is really a standout as well, steaming away as it's placed on the table, it comes packed with fresh vegetables, carrots, seaweed, spring onion, giving it quite a bit more sustenance than other miso soups you'll find around town. I would quite comfortably come back just for that!
So if Cibi is on your list too, don't wait two years like me to visit! Find yourself a lovely sunny morning and amble your way over to tuck into a breakfast your body is likely to be thanking you for and then leave with a spring in your step.
45 Keele Street
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