Meg and Zenta Tanaka launch Cibi cookbook at Tokyobike London
Cibi, pronounced chee-bee, means “little one” in Japanese. In the shape it has taken under the gleaming eyes of Zenta and Meg Tanaka, it is a concept store and cafe for Japanese goods and beautiful artisan products in Melbourne. And now, the philosophy behind it has been packaged into a book of the same name, containing over 80 varied recipes with mixed influences.
The Tanakas’ outlook is about enjoying life, living healthily and cleanly, and eating with the same positivity and gusto. How can you tell it’s working? Just take one look at Zenta Tanaka’s enormous smile and infectious laugh and you’ll be on the Cibi train in no time.
The food matches the authors’ lives and backgrounds, split between the culinary traditions of Japan and the sunny, easygoing optimism of Australia. The aesthetic of dishes like bite-size Roasted Eggplant with crushed tofu and shiso (a purple leafy green) or Chicken Mizore-ae with daikon and ponzu is understated and delicious. They balance taste with an almost uplifting lack of guilt in every bite!
Cibi, the book, is set to become part of a series that will examine the writers’ concept more holistically, turning from food to design and, finally, life itself. Were they to set up shop in Shoreditch, at a venue like Tokyobike London where the launch was held, one can only imagine the immense popularity that they would enjoy in the trendy East End.
When asked whether Cibi could teach the British to live as well as the Australians, the Tanakas smiled politely and laughed. We shall have to see for ourselves.
Cibi book launch was at Tokyobike London on 5th July 2018. For further information or to purchase the book visit the Cibi shop here.