On April 9th, Moon Krapugthong will close her namesake Mango Moon to move forward with Yanako, a Japanese-themed concept she’s been developing since last fall.
The shift in focus and location reflect Krapugthong’s desire to explore other cuisines and to gain greater visibility along Manayunk’s Restaurant Row. Additionally, she seeks more availability to oversee the final phase of expansion for her flagship restaurant, Chabaa Thai, also in Manayunk. Renovations are expected to be complete by Mother’s Day.
The name, Yanako, means, “Butterfly flower” and serves as an accurate analogy for her professional growth in a male-dominated industry, and the ongoing need to evolve in response to economic and dining trends.
Says Krapugthong, “Many people only know Japanese women as weak and subservient. But during war time, it was those women who stayed strong and carried Japan while the men were engaged in battle.”
This new project will allow Krapugthong to further her relationship with Chef Ige San, Mango Moon’s Chef in Residence this past December. He’s been named Executive Chef, and together they will staff the restaurant’s sushi bar—the cornerstone of Yanako.The menu will support Chef Moon’s mission to bring lighter versions of authentic, exotic and homestyle Asian cuisine to an increasingly curious audience.
From now through April 9th, Mango Moon supporters are encouraged to come in and experience the unique Bangkok street fare that has helped elevate this humble chef’s reputation as a leader in teaching diners about the everyday, “real” food being eaten throughout Thailand.
Along with a change in operating hours—Wed.-Sat., 5 p.m.-10 p.m.—the kitchen will take a departure from the existing menu to highlight Krapugthong’s favorite dishes.
Mango Moon customers can follow Chef Moon to Chabaa, where there will be more room for private parties and special events, including a 2-night tasting April 19-20th, to celebrate her April 4th guest chef appearance at James Beard House in New York City.