It’s hard to miss Kalaya Thai Kitchen when you’re in the Bella Vista area. Nestled beside Sarcone’s Bakery and the ever-popular Ralphs Italian Restaurant, the South Philly hotspot quickly became popular for more than just its food. Owned by Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon, the venue has added a lot to the area it surrounds, but doors will officially close to the BV location this weekend.
The goodbye is not forever in the city though, as Kalaya will move to a new spot in Fishtown this fall. However, there’s still one more service left to serve at the Bella Vista location, and it’s marked with a special experience.
“I cannot explain how difficult it will be to close the original Kalaya location, but we have incredible things to look forward to in Fishtown,” said Suntaranon in a statement, who is opening her newest venture with Defined Hospitality, which owns and operates Suraya, Pizzeria Beddia, and Condesa. “We’re excited to make this final dinner as special as possible, so we’re going to take some reservations, invite in the neighborhood and regulars who have supported us throughout this journey, and serve the best dinner we possibly can for those who have provided us with immeasurable support since we opened in April of 2019. It will be bittersweet, but we also couldn’t be more excited for the future of Kalaya.”
For the final seatings (both of which will take place on Oct. 1) a 10-course menu priced at $175 per person (inclusive of tax and gratuity) will be offered at 5 p.m. and then again at 7:45 p.m. As a release states, there will be 25 covers per seating, with communal dining only, and those interested in reservations can email [email protected] with their desired time and number of seats. A representative from the restaurant will call back to gather credit card payment information.
And what will be on the menu? Nok says to expect Goi Nua (wagyu beef tartare with caviar), Laab Ped (duck salad), Kha Moo Kalaya (five-spice braised pork shank), Gaeng Som Play Ya Nhat (barramundi sour curry with pineapple), Nam Prik Kapi (shrimp paste relish with vegetables), Hed Pad (stir fry mushrooms), Moo Kapi Sator (pork stir fry with stinky beans), Pla Tod Kamin (turmeric monkfish), Goong Prik Klua (salt and pepper jumbo river prawn) and mango sticky rice to finish everything off on a sweet note.
Those who head to Kalaya’s Bella Vista location will also be treated to some surprises along the way throughout the course of the night.
In the past, Kalaya has also bought specific notes to the Bella Vista area through charitable and also creative causes. For one, the Thai Kitchen added multiple layers of fine art to its dining experience, with chef and owner Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon tapping Philly-based artist Tiff Urquhart to adorn the restaurant’s streetery structures with murals featuring tropical flowers outside, and a few pieces inside. Then, an “Artist In Residence” series became the norm.
Additionally, those at at the restaurant worked with local meal delivery service Home Appétit, who partnered with Kalaya to raise money for the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson during COVID-19, and it featured two of the restaurant’s signature dishes. And that’s just naming a few ways in the past few years that this restaurant was able to make an impact beyond its own walls.
Overall, Kalaya’s Kitchen offered diners a way to sink their teeth into traditional and custom creations ranging from a selection of curries, wok favorites, apps, salads and much, much more. When Kalaya opens back up this year in Fishtown, they hope to leave the same legacy—just in a new part of the city.
To learn more about Kalaya, visit kalaya.net