Open and inviting, a non-pretentious converted warehouse.
If you’re interested in design, and live in Melbourne, there’s a good chance you’ve been to Cibi. I hadn’t, until last week. But now I’d like to go as often as I can, I’d move in if I could.
Cibi is a cafe with a design store attached. Owner Zenta Tanaka is an architect, and the cafe certainly reflects this. The cafe itself is a big open space with polished concrete floors and high ceilings, with an open kitchen. The space seems clean rather than over-accessorised. Industrial and vintage pieces, metal parts, weighing scales all perfectly placed. Silk screen hangings, and old Le Corbusier prints. There are lots of salvaged and op-shopped wood items as well.
Interesting shot of an interesting restaurant- The Al Mahara restaurant at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. As described further by photographer David Clarke, the Al Mahara (the Oyster) restaurant at the Burj has a giant aquarium with a dedicated team and a marine biologist looking after the 2500 fish in it. As you’d expect from a seven-star hotel, I guess. I’m not entirely sure what that fuzzy stuff on the walls is…
Yummy home-cooked Japanese in somewhat strangely attired surroundings.
I’ll start by saying the food we had was absolutely lovely. If they have their agedashi prawn and calamari dumplings, get them, they’re so super-yum! But the place itself was a little unusual. Its in a narrow little townhouse on the corner of Victoria Avenue and Bridport, a little bit of a thoroughfare. Dining at night, the mix of the pinky-red interior, yellow pendant lighting, magenta curtains screening the kitchen, and backlit bar were a bit overwhelming. Another thing that was a bit strange was the music- it seemed to fluctuate from jazz to Spanish easy listening.
I used to go to the now-deceased Beetroot with my best friend. We used to have hot chocolate with Persian fairy floss and marshmallows, and pretend we were interesting design people who worked in the CBD (rather than uni students on swot vac). That was some time ago. We’ve moved on, and so have the owners of Beetroot- with Hardware Societe, across the lane.
The place has been blogged about ad nauseum now, and its hard to say anything that hasn’t already been said. And I do like it, but mainly for the food (which I suppose is the prime objective, after all, of a restaurant). I don’t love the decor, and I think perhaps I may be alone amongst the prevailing blogging community in Melbourne in saying that.