• Monday , 20 November 2017

Chabaa Thai BYOB Expands to a Tasty Thailand Experience in Manayunk

Photos, story by Cassie Hepler

There can be only one.

Well, actually there can be quite a few Thai food places in the city. However, our favorite place is BYOB Chabaa Thai in Manayunk especially with the take me away to Thailand design and new location at 4343 Main St. with neighboring connected lunch spot Binto for those on-the-go Thai food fix days.

Blending elements of several Southeast Asian traditions, Thai cooking places emphasis on freshly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components. The spiciness of Thai cuisine is well known. As with other Asian cuisines, balance, detail and variety are of great significance to Thai chefs. Thai food is known for its balance of sour, sweet, salty, and savory for a fresh tasting memorable experience.

Chef-Artist Nongyao “Moon” Krapugthong is a visionary whose work is best expressed in her Manayunk restaurant, Chabaa Thai Bistro. In this place of culinary invention and artistic innovation, Moon creates an experience that transcends simply satisfying hunger. She has selected every detail in order to enchant each of the five senses. Chabaa Thai captures the best of Thai cuisine and culture, with stunning artwork that makes diners feel transported to the heart of Bangkok.

As Executive Chef, Moon Krapugthong strives to preserve the true spirit of authentic Thai cuisine. This requires elaborate preparation and the use of only freshest, highest-quality ingredients. With a fine touch and attention to the smallest details, each dish at Chabaa is delicately prepared to achieve the balance and harmony that makes Thai cuisine so special.

“Chabaa” is the Thai word for Hibiscus, a cheerful and delicate tropical flower that has come to symbolize the friendly, light-hearted, and gracious nature of the Thai people. And if there is any one word that describes Chef Moon, it is certainly gracious.

Chabaa Thai iced tea and the iced coffee, also available for pick up at Binto cafe next door is quite addicting.

Chabaa Thai iced tea, pictured, and the iced coffee, also available for pick up at Binto cafe next door is quite addicting. We may have had three glasses before we had to cut ourselves off. Don’t forget it’s a BYOB if you want to imbibe however we swear you won’t miss a thing with these amazing drinks.

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Chabaa Thai buns

Chabaa Thai chive steamed buns with spicy soy vinaigrette was an excellent suggestion from Chef Moon from the winter menu.

Chabbaa Thai scallops

Chabbaa Thai scallops on the half shell with pineapple and sweet Thai chili sauce is one of Chef Moon’s secret sauces that is out of this world in fresh flavor. We suggested selling that sauce or trying it on a sandwich or burger. It needs to be mass produced and that scallop was like butter, just perfect.

Chabbaa Thai beef

Chabbaa Thai beef jerky was seasoned so perfectly, we may have fought over who got to eat all of it. The salad next to it was spicy but sweet and offered a delicious low carb option.

Chabbaa Thai sampler

Chabbaa Thai sampler option is a good way to taste a bunch of different food at once. Crispy spring rolls were perfectly on point with the thai peanut sauce, chicken dumplings were just doughy enough, the fried tofu was good dipped in the sauce and chicken skewers were cooked to grilled perfection.

Having a hard time deciding what to order, Chef Moon surprised us with the

Having a hard time deciding what to order, Chef Moon surprised us with the soft shell crab, green curry, sweet bell pepper, fresh basil and roti bread which is like naan except flaky and greasier but just as delicious especially dipped in that creamy sauce.

Always a delicious option on the menu is the

Always a delicious option on the menu is the spicy basil fried rice pictured here with chicken (all sorts of options though including tofu and seafood). Jasmine rice, baby corn, broccoli, tomato, sweet onion, tri-bell peppers, egg, fresh Thai basil and chili paste make this a flavorful and fresh trip down tastebud lane.

Chabbaa Thai mango sticky rice is the best flavor combination and big enough to share - or not.

Chabbaa Thai mango sticky rice is the best fresh flavor combination of mango and sweet rice and big enough to share – or not.

Chabbaa Thai molten lava cake was too tempting to pass up with the melted marshmallows on top and gooey chocolate center oozing out into cake land.

Chabbaa Thai S’mores molten lava cake was too tempting to pass up with the melted marshmallows on top and gooey chocolate center oozing out into cake land. It was inhaled quickly.

Make sure you say hello to the Chabbaa Thai buddha on the way to the bathroom for good luck!

Make sure you say hello to the Chabbaa Thai buddha on the way to the bathroom for good luck!

 

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