Collingwood's Cibi on the move to new 800sqm home

Zenta and Meg Tanaka, of Collingwood's Cibi.
Zenta and Meg Tanaka, of Collingwood's Cibi. 

Cibi, the Japanese cafe and design space Meg and Zenta Tanaka opened in Collingwood a decade ago, is moving to a much bigger home in early October.

"We want to expand on what we've offered the neighbourhood and the community for the past 10 years," Zenta says. "We want to create new products, touch more lives and feed more people."

Cibi's traditional Japanese breakfast with grilled salmon fillet, tamagoyaki omelette, greens, rice and miso soup.
Cibi's traditional Japanese breakfast with grilled salmon fillet, tamagoyaki omelette, greens, rice and miso soup. Photo: Supplied

Zenta, a trained architect, is behind the refit of the former garment factory, a few doors up from its current space in Keele Street. At 800 square metres, it's about four times the size of the existing space, and while it will have a similar look (mismatched tables, colourful chairs, Japanese ceramics), more space means a more varied offering.

A larger kitchen and cafe gives Meg the chance to expand the menu. Alongside Cibi favourites such as soba noodle salad and chicken soboro will be a range of dishes from the recently published Cibi cookbook, and the traditional Japanese breakfast, currently a weekend staple, will be available every day.

The grocery offering is also set to expand. Currently Cibi sells a small range of honeys, tea and preserves, but Cibi 2.0 will offer a larger range of Japanese pantry staples, fresh fruit and vegetables, locally made tofu and dairy products, and Cibi's own sauces, pickles and condiments.

Design is as much a part of Cibi as food, so beyond an increased range of Japanese kitchen and household goods, expect furniture and other design items. The Plant Society, currently based in the Tanakas' other Collingwood eatery, Minanoie, will move to the new Cibi, as will United Measures picture framers.

Eventually, Meg and Zenta will introduce exhibitions, workshops and other special events to the space.

"We want people to enjoy what we do," Zenta says. "We're not just serving food. We're not just selling products. We want to be close to our customers, and that's what makes Cibi different."

Open Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat-Sun 8am-5pm.

31-39 Keele Street, Collingwood, 03 9077 3941,