Brunch will benefit Ukrainian refugees

Photo by Mike Prince

A South Philly restaurant is opening its doors to raise money for Ukrainian refugees.

Kalaya Thai Kitchen will host brunch on March 27 and will donate 80 percent of the proceeds to Ukrainian refugees who have escaped the war-torn country and are now in Poland.

Donations will be made to World Central Kitchen, which responds to humanitarian emergencies around the world by providing meals to people in need while building resilient food systems with locally led solutions.

According to its website, World Central Kitchen began serving hot, nourishing meals within hours of the initial invasion. The organization is now serving round-the-clock dishes at eight border crossings across the country. Additionally, it supports local restaurants preparing meals in 12 Ukrainian cities including Odessa, Lviv and Kyiv. WCK teams are also on the ground serving thousands of meals every day in Romania, Moldova and Hungary.

“It’s just completely devastating to see everything happening in Ukraine right now,” said Kalaya owner and chef Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon. “So many people in the Philadelphia community have been doing amazing things to help those affected, and it all just really inspired me to do something at Kalaya. We have the ability to help those in need, and we decided that we had to do this to give back any way we can. We hope to see the restaurant full so we can raise as much money as possible.”

Kalaya Thai Kitchen, located at 746 S. 9th St. in the Bella Vista neighborhood, is normally open only for dinner, but will make an exception for the fundraiser. The BYOB brunch will be held from noon to 2 p.m. and both indoor and outdoor seating is available. Entry is $75 per person plus tax and gratuity. Brunch includes five courses and a dessert.

The menu includes Kanom Jeeb (crabmeat, pork and shrimp shumai dumplings); Kanom Pung Na Moo (fried toasts with ground pork served with ajard condiments); Mee Nam Sai Ghai (rice vermicelli noodles in clear broth with chicken, bean sprouts, scallion, cilantro); Kamon Jeen Nam Ya Pu (crabmeat curry served with rice noodles); Khao Mok Nua (beef biryani with turmeric rice served with namjim); and Coconut Milk Panna Cotta. All items other than Kanom Jeeb and Kanom Pung Na Moo are gluten-free.

Reservations can be made at