Manayunk, a small neighborhood within Philadelphia, is a vibrant community; it houses myriads of restaurants, small shops, and beautiful sights. For one visiting, they can expect to have their palates pleased. Located along the winding expanse of Manayunk’s Main Street, lies a restaurant which can do just that, Chabaa Thai Bistro.
At first glance, the restaurant appears rather quaint, but the beautiful décor and pleasant aromas compensate, preparing you for a nice time. Whether one is a Thai connoisseur or novice to the cuisine, Chabaa is likely to satisfy.
Often when I dine at a restaurant, I look for foods that are unique, with a wide variety of flavors. Of course, that typically is the case with any Thai food. Chabaa is no different; each dish I had was very fresh, as well as flavorful.
What excited me the most about this restaurant was their menu. It featured many dishes I have never seen at a Thai restaurant. Specifically, I was happy to see that, not one, not two, but seven different types of Pad Thai were served. Salmon, Crispy Duck, Crab, and Scallop Pad Thai? I started to wonder what rock I was living under to not know such creations existed! However, I did not partake of either one. I chose a dinner special, knowing the other dishes would be there for my next visit (which will be soon!)
For an appetizer, I had the Fried Tofu, large pieces of crunchy tofu accompanied with a sweet sauce, topped with peanuts. Though fried, this was not too heavy, and the sweet and sour sauce was addictive.
For my entrée, I had the Rad Nar Seafood. It was delicious. Served in a small pot, this dish had an abundance of seafood: mussels, shrimp, scallops, prawn, etc. Mixed in were wild rice noodles and fresh vegetables, all in a tasty thin gravy sauce.
Just when I thought I had enough, we were asked about dessert. I had the Mango Sticky Rice. I was told that this was a very popular, traditional Thai dessert. Words cannot describe how indulgent it was, so I’ll leave it for you to try! If you’re a fan of rice pudding, I highly recommend it.
“Chabaa” is said to be the Thai word for Hibiscus, a beautiful flower that even my mother uses to adorn her home. What a fitting name for this restaurant, with its peaceful ambiance, jovial* staff, and of course, decadent food.
*Our server was very comical. She joked, laughed, and provided for an overall comfortable experience.