Yanako in Manayunk: A Temporary Home for Chabba Thai

by Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Chef and owner of Chabba Thai and Yanako, Moon Krapugthong, was named perfectly. Because now she is shooting for the moon.

While Chabba Thai is getting an extreme makeover (this one’s a doozy – it will expand into the old Manayunk Main Street Market), Yanako is holding the fort down with her amazing, soulful dishes and still serving up Chabba Thai favorites in the meantime.

And from Dec. 16th to 31, a delightful 4-course prix fixe holiday menu is available which includes both Japanese (from the kitchen and sushi bar) and Thai dishes. The price is only $40 per person and includes an appetizer, soup or salad, an entree and dessert.

To test and tout this great deal, we were in for a little treat when visiting Chef Moon starting with some lightly salted edamame and the always-addicting Thai iced tea. Next up was the fluke ceviche with notes of citrus and a slight tang tantalized the taste buds. Yanako is known for its fresh, never-tasted-sushi-like-this-before service so it’s no surprise the fluke was fresh, clean and delicious.

The most whimsical creation of the night was the raw kobe beef served with punzo (soy citrus vinaigrette) and seasoned sea salt ready to be cooked DIY-style on a 500-degree hot stone. Made just the way you like it, just remember not to touch the stone!

Up next was the perfect for cold weather ramen with egg noodles, braised pork belly, scallions and tonkotsu ramen. This alone would make a wonderful winter lunch or late day snack – or a nice, healing take out gift for someone with a head cold.

Of course we had to sample the amazing Chabba Thai part of the menu and chose the mango fried shrimp which did not disappoint. The sweetness and spice with the fresh mango, pineapple, baby corn, bell peppers and crispy shrimp were a familiar and happy mix of memories of an older Manayunk.

Chef Moon then switched up flavors entirely with the salmon in green curry sauce. There was an earthy, green flavor with the spices crisped to perfection on top of the salmon with just enough spice to really feel the flavors.

And of course, who can forget the house-made green tea ice cream with blackberry sauce? Not usually an ice cream fan, this pair made fast friends on my taste buds and not too sweet at all. A perfect ending to a lovely meal in a great space. We will certainly be back and will showcase the new Chabba Thai when it debuts in the Spring – complete with a cooking classroom, take-out/faster food section and rotating guest chef visits and features. We can’t wait!


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