Wednesday, 30 May 2012

cibi: touch the heart - tasting night & workshop

A few weeks ago I meandered along to Cibi's website and made the serendipitous discovery of a free and upcoming exhibition-slash-event that I would otherwise never had known about. It was a tasting night, incorporating a workshop, called "Touch the heart: Eat & learn at Cibi".

"Greetings from CIBI.

We hope you are well and enjoying the autumn chill which is great for driving us into the kitchen with lovely autumn/winter produce, to create heart-warming food.

In a change from past exhibitions, this time we want to introduce and showcase our "fresh approach to simplicity" in the kitchen, which is the heart of our CIBI food philosophy.

It promises to be a tasty and fun experience, with wide range of dishes, introducing over 30 different ingredients and vegetables.

Please join us to enjoy a relaxing and interesting evening with our friends at CIBI.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Best regards

CIBI team"


Lured by the promise of free food and education, Simon and I breezed in right on time, ready for our little evening adventure. The following pictures are courtesy of Simon and his DSLR camera. (I really should enlist his services and/or his camera more often...)

Shelves upon shelves of seasonal ingredients greeted us cheerily as we walked in... a beautifully rustic sight to behold.

seasonal fruits and vegetables galore at cibi's "touch the heart" event.

We were each given a plate with specific instructions on how to navigate the buffet. This is not an eat-all-you-can circus! All the dishes were already arranged on the tables in individual portions to be lifted into our plates, in specifically designated spots, to be treasured and savoured.

We started off with a scoop of chestnut rice, and then we each got to pick a main, which consisted of either a small piece of miso fish, a ginger chicken meatball or a teriyaki tofu round. Once that was done, we moved on to the sides. We helped ourselves to a portion each of the pickled daikon and purple carrot, the eggplant and chickpea stew, and the mushroom, persimmon and chrysanthemum leaf salad. There were also cups of root vegetable soup, as well as tea (I believe it was of the hojicha variety).

I really enjoyed the food - light and gentle, they had a soul-soothing quality to them, as well as a balanced sense of care and thoughtfulness. I felt - somehow - intrinsically nourished.

a petite but well-balanced meal at cibi's "touch the heart" tasting night.

I also participated in the onigiri workshop, where we basically had to try to emulate what the lady at the booth was doing to create triangle rice balls. No prizes for guessing who's who in the picture!

onigiri workshop at cibi's "touch the heart" event.

My finished product was an appropriate representation of my fumbling efforts. I clearly won't be quitting my day job anytime soon to be an onigiri master. Nor a hand model, for that matter. (P.S. The specks on my fingers are the delicious remnants of bonito flakes that I failed to incorporate fully into my onigiri.)

eating, learning, and making onigiri (the latter with limited success)...

To finish, we had desserts. It was a beguiling selection. Kinako (roasted soybean flour) cookies and matcha (green tea) cookies, earthy and crumbly. Adzuki bean chocolate ganache pieces, rich yet delicate - a delightful revelation.

an assortment of desserts to cap off cibi's "touch the heart" event.

I walked away that night with renewed inspiration, Cibi's philosophies lingering in my mind. I vowed that I would continue to try my best to celebrate the diversity of different ingredients, to stay true to them, and to combine them with holistic sensitivity. To chew slowly, to linger upon the tastes and textures. To enrich myself, and the environment, through the food I choose to eat.

To create meals that touch the heart.

32 comments:

  1. How awesome is this! Totally my kind of serendipity :) Looks like a great time.

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    1. It was! Stunningly healthy and delicious free food, that's hard to beat.

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  2. What a lovely event, and look at all that produce! I recently bought some adzuki beans, without plans for using them. ...but chocolate, eh? Right up my alley:)

    Had they written on all the plates? What a chore. But boy oh boy oh boy, the food all looks so wonderfully yummy!

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    1. Chocolate and adzuki beans make a great team, I have to say! Do it.

      The plates were specially printed ones, but yes, it must have been from handwritten samples. It's strange but those plates and the small portions really did provide a psychological shift. I ate a little slower, and let the enjoyment linger a little longer.

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  3. So lovely! I've been wanting to visit Cibi because of its Japanese slant, gallery slant and just a different tempo to brunching, that's what I thought. But this post has endeared me to this place even more. Like you, I like their philosophy, need to enjoy the specialness of each ingredient more (and stop eating like a mad hungry gorilla) :D.

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    1. I've been there for brunch and lunch prior to this event, which I enjoyed, but yeah, I really like how this event made me think more about how and what I eat. P.S. I still need to treat myself to their special Japanese breakfast, one day. :D

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  4. Oh how lovely! Love how the vegies and fruits are displayed on the shelves, very heartwarming feel to the place :). Will now keep an eye on their website for future events if I don't visit them first myself!

    Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. It's a lovely place - the sort you can happily while away a lazy afternoon... :)

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  5. What a lovely evening. Your photos are stunning and I just loved your last paragraph - beautiful words....

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    1. Thanks! I'll let Simon know you like his photos. :D

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  6. This is such an interesting event! :D

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  7. Looks like fun! A serendipitous find. (And lovely pictures.)

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    1. Thanks, it was a really enjoyable night. :)

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  8. Awww what a cute way to spend a date night where you get to make your own dinner AND a buffet too? Win! Especially if it involves using your own hands hehe. Simon's a really good photographer. I've never heard of CIBI until now but am keen to check them out. Will hop on to their website now. Hope you're doing well and look forward to our next dinner sometime! =D

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    1. Yes, a rare date night for us! We're such homebodies it's nice to go out every now and then. I hope you're doing well too, best of luck with your studies. Too bad you can't make our next dinner but definitely another time!

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  9. A hearty meal, indeed. What a great find. Thanks for sharing your discovery.

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  10. What a fun event. I'd love to attend something like that.

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  11. What a wonderful event... those produce filled shelves do look incredibly inviting and the food warming and beautifully proportioned. How fun.

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    1. It really was a beautifully well-balanced meal. :)

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  12. That looks like so much fun. I love that picture of all the produce at the top of this post. All the food sounds beautiful

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    1. I like that picture, too! The produce looks so good.

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  13. ¸.•°`♥✿⊱╮
    Passei para uma visitinha.
    Já faz muito tempo que não volto aqui.
    Fiquei com saudade.
    Boa semana!
    Beijinhos.
    Brasil.
    ¸.•°`♥✿⊱╮

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  14. Oh I wish I had known about this - I live really close to Cibi and go there for coffee or brunch quite regularly!

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  15. What an outing! This looks like an incredible way to learn about 'seasonal' foods...hands on...and in such a tasty way. I'm so glad I had a snack next to me while reading this because it all looks so delicious.

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    1. The hands-on aspect was really good! There were also educational handmade posters all around, which I didn't get pictures of, but it all contributed to a fun night of thoughtful learning and eating.

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  16. A really beautiful meal/event. Definitely a place I'd like to go to if I visit Australia one day.

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