Manayunk's Chabaa Thai, which was considered by many to be the city's best Thai restaurant, closed in 2014 with the intention of opening again just down the street in the tandem property at 4343-45 Main Street. May 12 is the projected date when Moon Krapugthong plans to reopen her bistro, this time, with Binto Market & Cafe, her new, Asian quick-serve concept, attached.
While Philly could always use more Thai restaurants, making Chabaa's reopening all the more exciting, Binto's concept might pique the interest of the surrounding community a bit more. Its menu, which is primarily made up of Thai curries and salads, flirts a little with some Chinese, Vietnamese, and Japanese influences (keep in mind, Krapugthong chef-owns Japanese restaurant and sushi bar Yanako, just down the way). The cafe, mixed with a market of take-out options including Moon's house-made curry pastes, salad dressings, pad thai sauces, hot sauces, and pre-prepped meals ready to finish at home, makes for a great neighborhood option where students can work, yogis can get a healthy, post-workout meal, and neighbors can food shop for the week. For parents toting their children, Krapugthong's 9 year old daughter, Tinnha, will manage the Binto "play market's" day-to-day operations. Cute!
Binto's hours are projected to go from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. on weekdays, and an hour later on weekends. Chabaa Thai Bistro's hours will be dinner-only during the week, open until 9:30 p.m., 10 p.m. on weekends. The plan is to incorporate a weekend lunch and Sunday brunch once things settle in.