After finding quick success this spring with Isan Thai restaurant Tum Pok Pok in Chamblee, Jakkrit Tuanphakdee and Adidsara Weerasin (Bangkok Thai, Crab 404), along with partner Taya Denmark, open Yao August 26, an elegant, multi-level Thai-Chinese restaurant near Perimeter Center in Dunwoody.
Inspired by Yaowarat Road, the main thoroughfare in the Samphanthawong District of Bangkok’s Chinatown, Yao melds the flavors, dishes, and ingredients of the Thai-Chinese community who’ve called the neighborhood home for more than two centuries. As one of the largest Chinatowns in the world, the website for Yao describes this area of Bangkok as a “paradise for food lovers”, leaning into “spicy, crunchy, tangy” flavors and generations-old dishes.
Tuanphakdee and Weerasin (who grew up in Bangkok) hope to recreate not only the dishes often found in Yaowarat, but the vibe of the neighborhood, its restaurants, and its residents at Yao. This includes a large mural of a woman representing the Chinese community in Bangkok featured prominently near the bar at Yao, which serves wines by the glass and bottle, beer, and a selection of sakes.
The khao soi gai, a noodle dish comprising chicken, lime, pickled green mustard, red onions, and a quail egg in curry broth, a daily whole salt and peppered fish, spaghetti with northern Thai sausage, and roast duck egg noodles with Yu choy cilantro and a quail egg are standouts on the menu here.
Yao also serves a small selection of Japanese-inspired dishes, like spicy teriyaki tofu, Ishiyaki wagyu served Thai style, and cha siu pork belly, along with a section of appetizers such as crab wontons, truffle parmesan chips, and prawn taro rolls.
At nearly 4,000 square feet and spanning two levels, Yao seats up to 120 people inside between its multiple dining areas and bar. The restaurant’s partially covered patio seats up to 40 people.
While currently only serving dinner, starting at 4 p.m., lunch should begin at Yao in the coming weeks. Take a look at the menu here.
Open Sunday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Tuesday - Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Order online for takeout or delivery. Lunch forthcoming.
237 Perimeter Center Parkway, Dunwoody. yaoatlanta.com. Masks required.
Disclaimer: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.