Zenta and Megumi Tanaka, the duo behind much loved Collingwood cafe Cibi, have a second little sister venue aptly named Mina-no-ie (which is Japanese for ‘everyone’s home’).

Taking over a vacant warehouse Zenta further articulated the spaces lovely industrial bones with touches like blackened steel trestles that prop up recycled wine barrel boards reconfigured into beautifully textured tabletops. Running through the main spine of the cafe are two timber communal tables that are irreverently organic in their shape and soap-finished to provide their surface with a subtle off white hue.

This subtle textural interplay also extends to the choice of handmade porcelain cups, saucers and plates created in collaboration between the Cibi team and local potter Shane Kent, a dynamic that recasts the everyday act of drinking coffee as a wonderfully tactile experience. These cups, along with other beautifully considered everyday products, will be on sale at Cibi’s select store.

Megumi, the heart and soul of the space, has developed a concise menu offering the kind of heart-warming food that we have all come to enjoy at Cibi cafe. Harking back to the nourishing Japanese home-style food that she grew up with in rural Okayama, Megumi’s food philosophy at Mina-no-ie is as much about the notion of providing sustenance as it is about the balance of flavours. An ever-evolving food offering that relies on seasonality, organic produce and the environment that surrounds, the first menu consists of fresh, wholesome food.

Coupled with the green tea cakes and great coffee, Mina-no-ie is the perfect space for respite.

Mina-no-ie shares the space with curated men’s store Epatant.

Copyright 2012 Leon Goh & Broadsheet


David Chang’s first restaurant Momofuku Noodle Bar, which recently relocated to 1st Avenue in the East Village, has become a kind of beacon to others in redefining a more casual and relaxed approach to food. Eschewing the overly finessed and fussy approach of his forebears, Chang remains committed to showcasing technique and ingredients in each dish though without the inherent pretentiousness and price tag.

The space at Noodle Bar is dominated by a large blond timber communal table and counter where you can sit, eat and watch the chefs frantically go about their work in an open kitchen. The design is almost utilitarian in its simplicity and echoes the counter style ramen restaurants in Japan (where Chang trained for two years under master ramen chef Akio-san). Now run in partnership with Kevin Pemoulie, who coordinates the kitchen day to day, the service is sharp, perfunctory but still incredibly knowledgeable in its approach – an approach that served us well on the Monday night when we visited and experienced a forty minute wait for a table.

Momofuku Noodle Bar’s menu is definitely focussed around a number of key dishes that have become a hallmark of Chang’s approach. Chang’s pork buns – a melange of mantou bun, delightfully tender pork belly slices, hoi sin, slithers of cucumber and spring onions – are a definite favourite amongst diners. The noodle dishes are also a stand out, as you would expect, with his signature Momofuku ramen delivering on its promise of hearty and smoky pork broth (made from smoky bacon and pork bones) combined with perfectly al dente egg noodles and delightfully lascivious 60 degree cooked egg garnished on top.

Along with Ssäm Bar, Ko, Milk Bar and Má Pêche – Chang’s more upscale restaurant located in Midtown – there’s definitely a groundswell in acknowledgement that David Chang is at the vanguard of contemporary American food culture.

Momofuku Noodle Bar
Address: 171 1st Avenue, New York, NYC 10003
Open: 12:00-16:30 (Saturday and Sunday till 16:00) / 17:30-23:00 (Friday and Saturday till 02:00)
Tel: +1 (212) 777-7773

Copyright Leon Goh & SHIFT 2012

Based in the town of Beacon one and a half hours outside of Manhattan, Dia have converted the old Nabisco printing factory – a bastion of America’s industrial past – to an expansive art space housing one of the world’s pre-eminent collectionof international and American art. Taking a train from the majestic Grand Central Station along the picturesque Hudson river you arrive at Beacon at once detached from the world around you and the cityscape that you’ve left behind.

Entering the main hall of the converted factory through a small entry building, you immediately encounter a vast expanse of space, with converted exhibition rooms that run for metres on end. The space and light that abounds is at once beguiling and engaging for the spectator. Designed by artist Robert Irwin in collaboration with the design firm OpenOffice, the main exhibition rooms are filled with natural light streaming in from the industrial saw tooth windows that shape the ceiling. This intelligent use of the existing structure of the building not only provides the space with lovely lived-in industrial details but also pays homage to the building’s blue collar past.

Housing Dia’s permanent collection along with a series of seasonal exhibitions, there is almost a sense of reverence when the spectator views some of the work on the walls. With specific galleries featuring works by Joseph Beuys, Sol Le Witt and Dan Flavin,

Richard Serra’s monumental metallic sculptures which envelope the space in a swirl of power and materiality were a highlight. Encountering these structures on a massive scale with their play of angles & height made our presence in the room feel decidedly miniscule. Combined with Sol Le Witt’s pencil wall studies of geometry and shapes, Dia:Beacon is a beautifully serene visual and spatial experience that is a must see for any visitor to New York.

Address: 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, NY 12508
Opening Hours: 11:00–16:00 (April–October till 18:00)
Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday (Thursdays in January, February, and March)
Tel: +1 845 440 0100

Copyright Leon Goh & SHIFT 2012


Often moments and objects of the everyday get overlooked in a world that focuses on the new. These are the moments that architect and designer Zenta Tanaka celebrates. His practice is one that is rooted in the idea of slowness and time, embracing and enhancing everything of your daily life – design for life. Zenta has worked on various projects with companies such as Birkenstock and Aesop as well as creating his own select shop and café – with his wife Megumi – called CIBI. We join for a discussion about his design influences and the projects that he is currently working on.

Hi Zenta, thanks for your time. Can you tell me a little bit more about yourself?

I am an open-minded, friendly father and whenever I go to day care to pick up my son, all the other kids surround me. I love entertaining and meeting people to get inspired! I love objects, furniture, toys, eclectic collections and dogs. I take inspiration from the world around me to do some creative design work – creating objects, space and special moments in life.

So has architecture and design always played a part in your life? You studied architecture in Australia and Germany and subsequently practiced for a few years in Japan?

Yes, a big part. Good design just makes you smile. It’s made my life more thoughtful and colourful, whether its clothes, furniture, objects, a notebook or a pen. I always take time to look at the things that surround me, taking moments to think and enjoy each object. I remember reading a little book on design by Shigeo Fukuda: a great Japanese graphic designer when I was little and it really opened my eyes and gave me a sense of being. Looking at the images and reading his thoughts about the role which design plays in life really resonated with me.

Studying in Europe was also an eye-opener. A varied group of people studied architecture with me in Germany, people from all around Europe – people in different age groups. Their approach to learning, detail and the process of designing and building was profoundly thought through after continuous discussion. They always talked about design – it was inherently part of who they were.

Can you tell me a little more about your approach to design? It feels to me that there is a focus on slowness, authenticity, the everyday and sentimental minute details?
My approach to design is really about what I want to achieve, which is touching people’s feelings and everyday experiences. These are the moments that people can cherish for a long time and I endeavour to create objects and spaces that allow people to enjoy these experiences.

This is essentially what I think of when I design and the notion that ultimately life through design makes it much more fun.

How has it been for you professionally to collaborate with companies like Aesop and Birkenstock? You recently designed Aesop’s Bondi Beach store and also are in the process of designing the Birkenstock store in their new head offices in Melbourne…

Aesop, an amazing company and brand which I was a big fan of without knowing their total philosophy, concept and their thoughtful care towards customers. They embraced my approach to design and inspired myself to be a part of their retail experience. For example something that is done in an Aesop store is the simple gesture of washing hands thoughtfully, which I feel provides an added layer to the quality of life.

Birkenstock has a profound heritage and philosophy in their products, they are showing me how to appreciate their fundamental message that product should be thoughtful and always of quality. They have been kind enough to give me an opportunity to cherish their products and showcase how beautiful they are in a flagship store which I am designing for them in Melbourne.

When you started CIBI in an old warehouse in Collingwood Melbourne before, was it always your intention to juxtapose a beautiful select shop with a café?

Yes, our concept essentially revolves around life! Three elements: good design, a sense of style and food made with love are the elements that enable us live life to the fullest.

We always wanted to showcase beautiful products designed by many great designers both contemporary and historical – for example Sori Yanagi whose products are timeless. This is the same sensibility that we wish for people to embrace in their life and their home.

What do you love most about Melbourne – living and working in this city? Any favourite places that you visit week in week out?

People – wonderful people who are inspiring that enjoy and appreciate what we do. We usually gravitate towards people that have a sense of balance. We also love to support our friends that we’ve made through food and the food industry – restaurants like Anada, Supermaxi, The Aylesbury and Marios are all great institutions (new and old) in Melbourne where people can linger and take pleasure from each other’s company. We really love spaces that feel like a second home.

I also love many of Melbourne gardens in particular Edinburgh Gardens where I regularly have picnics and enjoy the sunshine. If I have any remaining spare time, I scour Melbourne’s various vintage warehouses and junkyards searching for anything from timber, old taps and metalwork.

Address: 45 Keele Street, Collingwood, Melbourne
Opening Hours: 8:00-16:00 (Saturday and Sunday from 9:00)
Tel: +61 3 9077 3941

Copyright Leon Goh & SHIFT 2012

Up There Store

Melbourne has long yearned for a menswear store that successfully curates a selection of product that focuses on provenance that can easily form part of your everyday. Due to an embedded post war European influence, Melbourne’s menswear approach has generally focused on tailoring, muted and dark tones and subtle fabrics. Up There store – opened in 2010 by the collective of Brendan Mitchell, James Barrett and Jason Paparoulas – eschews this tradition, instead embarking on a search for a new kind of masculine identity that combines a sense of playfulness, a nod to the outdoors with inherent design detail.

Situated on the first floor of a beautiful low rise building on Mckillop St Melbourne, Up There has transformed a small largely disused space into a premium menswear showroom. Utilising the lovely natural light afforded to the space by the industrial full height windows, the collective have curated labels like Sunny Sports, Norse Projects, Yuketen and Note to Self to fill their garment racks. Recently also picking up Japanese label The Superior Labor – who produce high quality cotton and denim wears in Okayama Japan – it is evident that the inherent quality of a garment is celebrated at this store.

Extending this fastidiousness to the other products that are ranged, Up There are also one of the few retailers to stock Inventory Magazine and accessories from Bedwin. Likewise, the footwear on the display tables also juxtaposes the contemporary with the classic with limited edition Adidas and New Balance sneakers sitting side by side with a select range of Clarks Originals. It’s a store that deserves some recognition purely for its unbending search for something new.

Copyright Leon Goh and SHIFT 2012


Situated in a back street in Collingwood Melbourne, CIBI breaks down established boundaries between food, retail and creative space. Opened in 2008 by husband and wife team Zenta and Megumi Tanaka, CIBI is one part select store and one part café. A deftly curated selection of design classics like cutlery and cookware by Sori Yanagi, Hakusan porcelain and contemporary collaborations such as the SIWA range of paper products designed by Naoto Fukusawa sit beside a café that focuses on providing locals much needed sustenance.

Zenta Tanaka – with his background in architecture and design – has designed a café and store that successfully articulates the kind of lived in, industrial and eclectic design aesthetic that references the tenets of the slow architectural movement. Reclaimed materials, industrial elements like steel and formwork blocks are littered throughout the space. Subtle details abound, marimekko prints linger amongst found vintage furniture and a vintage Apple Mac is used as a doorstop. Display tables are created out of asymmetric trestles designed by Zenta himself and timber that was sourced from disused timber yards.

Complementing this approach to design, Megumi-san’s food philosophy is as much about celebrating fresh ingredients as it is about the juxtaposition of traditional Japanese home style food and contemporary western cuisines. There are several dishes that continue to resonate with the regulars. The Japanese breakfast, fragrant rice, shiozake, bean salad and tamago comes with a hearty homemade miso soup that epitomises the simple heartfelt approach to their food. This embedded sense of soul is also present in dishes like the refreshing soba noodle salad and bean, sourdough bread and avocado CIBI breakfast – everyday food elevated and enriched into something special.

Copyright Leon Goh & SHIFT 2012

Hotel Americano

Located in Chelsea on 27th Street, Hotel Americano is the first hotel in New York by Mexican hoteliers Habita Group. Habita founders Carlos Couturier and Moises Micha have created a string of design hotels that epitomise a kind of relaxed Latin sophistication juxtaposed with heavily curated room offerings. Hotel Americano is no different, taking over a disused parking garage on 27th Street and a half block away from the amazing High Line urban space, its stainless steel façade shimmers, illuminating the street in an affront to the existing industrial landscape.

Embedded in the gallery district of Manhattan, it is evident that Hotel Americano’s aesthetic successfully treads the fine line between design hotel and a warm inviting space that locals and guests can sink into and make their own. The exterior and room design is minimalist with Habita collaborating with architect Enrique Norten. However carefully considered room amenities and design details abound with Loden Dager denim bathrobes, Aesop bathroom amenities, timber tatami style base for the soft bedding, a polished industrial concrete floor and a wonderfully useful in-room iPad surrounds the guest in a space that juxtaposes sleek European design with pared back Japanese restraint.

On the ground floor, restaurant Americano (run by chef Olivier Reginensi, who previously worked at Daniel) serves lovely French inspired food with some Latin flair. There’s also a rooftop swimming pool – with inspiring views of the Empire State building – that doubles as a hot tub in winter. This combination of epicurean refinement and ability to soak in the urban landscape in an entirely personal manner makes Hotel Americano the perfect chic hotel for your New York odyssey.

Copyright Leon Goh & SHIFT 2012


Steamed Chinese pork, chicken and vegetable buns – an everyday snack of Asian communities, poor students and food lovers alike, has seen a recent renaissance with restaurants such as Momofuku and locally Golden Fields breathing new life into this staple.    

Steamed flavoursome buns filled with meat, seafood or vegetables have been a peasant dish in East Asia for hundreds of years. Tracing its history back to post Han Dynasty China, its early cousin Mantou (literally translated to ‘barbarian’s head’) is essentially milled white flour combined with a leavening agent to create a simple 15cm rolled bun that acted as a food staple for the peasants and working men alike. More commonly eaten in the north of China than in the south, these buns along with noodles formed the carbohydrate base for much of the population.

Through immigration and appropriation from other ethnic groups, the base Mantou bun has seen a myriad of variations. One of the most famous is the Bao zi which is often served at Yum Cha. Hailing originally from Hong Kong, this Cantonese staple is often filled with barbecue pork, minced chicken or stir fried chives and shallots – the perfect accompaniment to steamed dumplings or tea. Similarly the Japanese, with their obsession for hand food, convenience stores and food halls have also adopted this dish and made it their own. Called nikkuman or Niku-man, this dish perfectly bridges the gap between high/low, sophisticated/everyday, as it can be found both at the beautiful Isetan Food Hall in Shinjuku or ma & pa street stalls in the back streets of Ikebukuro. Essentially it is the most concise combination of ingredients in one hand full and consequently almost the perfect microcosm of a dish.

Recently this dish has kind of embedded itself in the zeitgeist. New York (and now Sydney’s) Momofuku, created their own version which follows an incredibly simple rule: doughy but not chewy bun + tasty meat + condiment & other = a hand full of amazing goodness. Featuring on the menu in all of David Chang’s establishments this one single dish, besides perhaps Chang’s ramen is the dish that Momofuku is revered for.

Also in New York and just around the corner in the Lower East Side, BaoHaus run by Eddie and Evan Huang has made bao the hero and only item on their menu. How does an unctuous durian dessert bao sound? Or the Uncle Jesse, organic fried tofu, crushed peanut, coriander and Taiwanese red sugar? Delicious right? The Huang brother’s Raison d’etre for this venture was to ‘tear down what people knew about Chinese-Taiwanese food and rebuild it from the ground up…dreaming of elevating this dish from Flushing to Front Street against a soundtrack of Ghostface Killah & Dipset’.

Locally in Australia, the Golden Fields version is a compact closed steamed dumpling filled with a heady soy and vinegar dressing that lathers and moistens the pork belly which lies within. Harking back to his time spent in Hong Kong, Andrew McConnell’s version takes its cue from gua bao buns but less fluffy in texture, this dish has an added level of refinement due to the use of quality ingredients and a considered and deft technique.

Personally, I think it’s a dish that deserves some veneration. For a humble bun to find its way into so many personal food histories from immigrant Asian student’s lunch boxes, to heavenly home made snacks that mother’s feed their adolescent boys to Michelin rated restaurants, it’s a dish that crosses both cultural and socio-economic boundaries and definitely should be celebrated with gusto.





Copyright Leon Goh & Broadsheet 2012 

Nike x Undercover

Gyakusou Collection

Springtime often heralds new beginnings and moments of internal reflection. Awaking from a long winter slumber, where dark and foreboding evenings promote hearty soups and good books, Spring is a season of change. It’s the season where you bring out your shorts or that vintage floral dress hidden in the back of your wardrobe, it’s the season where you take the dust cover off your bike for leisurely rides and it’s the season where exercise becomes no longer a chore but a pleasure.

A form of exercise that changes during the season from a pursuit of the hardcore fanatic to an activity of the everyday sloth is running. Running is possibly one of the easiest ways to engage with the natural environment. It enhances you body’s rhythm with its inherent physicality and forces you to utilise all of your senses as you step over obstacles, explore new trails and search for something new. Key to how you engage with the environment is the apparel that you wear. Technical sportswear is all too often led by sports companies whose design approach values function over form. Refreshingly some brands like Nike have been searching for ways to differentiate themselves in a crowded market by collaborating with brands such as cult Japanese fashion label Undercover.

Jun Takahashi creative director of Undercover is a dedicated runner himself and has described running as the most basic and rewarding of physical pursuits. His Gyakusou collection is based around key pieces such as shoes, shorts, tights and all weather jackets and like his fashion items exhibit an interesting take on masculinity juxtaposed with interesting design details. All items in this collection are designed specifically for running, with fabrics used to wick sweat away, stretch in certain panels to enhance more efficient leg turnover and shoes that are light and flat promoting better foot strike. It is the perfect meeting point between function and form.

The Gyakusou Nike x Undercover collection is available April at Incu stores.

Copyright Leon Goh & Broadsheet 2012

Ramen and Lucky Peach – by McSweeney’s & David Chang

Broadsheet takes a detailed look at ramen as a dish and the new publication by McSweeney’s and David Chang, Lucky Peach.

A bowl of ramen is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It’s a dish that’s entirely about the sum of its parts. Not overly technical (though some may argue otherwise), or a dish that elicits glowing praise from the food press, essentially it’s about each individual ingredient being treated with respect and care before being placed together to create a cohesive whole.

But perhaps it should be given the praise and reverence that it truly deserves? Its ability to enliven the tastebuds with a multilayered and hearty broth, the perfectly al dente egg noodles and other accoutrements like the pork cutlet and seaweed makes it perhaps the most underrated comfort dish in the world.

The above may seem somewhat fetishistic, but ramen has a long and varied history in Japan. Initially, noodles were brought over from China in the late 1800s, along with the idea of pairing noodles with soup, which infiltrated Japan’s food culture in the early 20th century as a Chinese food craze swept through Japan after the great Kanto earthquake. The dish soon morphed, with miso becoming a popular broth alternative in the 1950s, and creating the perfect flavour profile became – a method that requires a careful blend of both meat and dashi broths – became the focus of the dish’s contemporary incarnations.

The history of its everyday sibling and something that everyone on a tight budget has reached for at the Chinese grocer – instant ramen – is even more inspiring. Rooted solely around the notion of providing very cheap and nutritional food to the masses, Momofuku Ando created instant ramen in the 1950s after he witnessed widespread food shortages in Osaka after World War II. After developing the technique to dry and preserve noodles into cakes, Ando-san travelled to the USA in the 70s where he came across the widespread use of styrofoam cups to drink coffee. Adapting this cup to form a pseudo-bowl, cup-a-noodles was born and Nissin noodles have subsequently sold five billion cup-a-noodles to the world – a truly altruistic and human endeavour at its core.

More recently, at least in Western food circles, ramen has seen a renaissance, particularly in New York. David Chang, owner of the Momofuku restaurants in New York and Sydney, is an unabashed disciple of the dish, having worked for a number of years in Tokyo – a couple of years of which he trained under ramen master Akio-san.

The first issue of Lucky Peach, published quarterly by McSweeney’s and co edited by Chang, is essentially a temple to the dish. Featuring articles that tediously describe the regional variations, a diarised four-day-long Tokyo ramen gorge fest, a conversation with Anthony Bourdain and a wonderfully detailed account of the rise of former New Yorker Ivan Orkin into a ramen celebrity in Tokyo, this issue of Lucky Peach extols the virtues of ramen for both its flavour punch and its ability to warm the soul.

The second issue of Lucky Peach is already available at Magnation and Books For Cooks it discusses food techniques like foam with Ferran Adrià and the sweet and sour flavour sensation that is kimchi.

Finally – and this may cause some contention and is in no way the final word on ramen restaurants – here are some worthy ramen exponents that we think deserve a mention.

Momotaro Ramen
392 Bridge Road, Richmond

Ramen Ya at GPO
Shop 25G Melbourne’s GPO 350 Bourke St, Melbourne



Copyright Leon Goh & Broadsheet 2012