Chef Moon Krapugthong spent ten years serving Thai food to the people of Manayunk (and beyond) at her original Chabaa Thai restaurant on Main Street, and when she closed it down in September of 2014, people were upset. First, because the loss of Chabaa meant one less place for good Thai food in a city that has very (VERY) few to begin with. Second, because this was Manayunk, and while there was no shortage of places for beers, burgers and chef-y tacos, it wasn’t like the neighborhood was exactly overflowing with ethnic options.
The only bit of good news here? Chef Moon claimed that she was going to be reopening soon in a bigger, better location. And while we hear that a lot (with pretty much every restaurant that closes anywhere), we settled in to wait.
But while it took over a year before we heard any good news out of the new double space at 4343 Main Street, now we have some. Even better, we have TWO good things to announce.
Thing One: Chabaa Thai really is reopening. Construction is still ongoing, but there’s a grand opening scheduled for Thursday, May 12. And while the folks behind Chabaa admit that things can still happen to delay this, they have a hard date set for a VIP tasting and cocktail party two days earlier. The date for that? It’s not going to change, they say. So even if they don’t exactly hit May 12 for the actual opening, it’ll be close.
Thing Two: In addition to opening the new Chabaa Thai, Chef Moon is also opening the doors on Binto Market & Cafe next door–a quick, casual Asian cafe and market which looks…just really kinda awesome. We’re talking spring rolls and shu main, four different kinds of sausage, gyoza, soups, salads, maki, curry, Japanese pulled pork sandwiches and a whole separate vegetarian menu. The market will sell Asian cooking supplies and prepared foods, and there’ll be a play market for the kids, run by Moon’s 9-year-old daughter.
Seriously, I’m actually MORE excited to see what she does with Binto than with the return of Chabaa. The menu looks fantastic, and I love the idea of a place like this outside of the snowglobe of Center City/Passyunk/Fishtown. You can check it out for yourself at the link below.
Binto Cafe & Market [Official]