Longtime friends Lukkaew Srasrisuwan and Miranda Loetkhamfu will bring made-from-scratch Thai cuisine to the Heights through their joint venture Kin Dee Thai Cuisine, which opens Friday at 1533 N Shepherd Dr.
Kin Dee, which is Thai for “to eat well,” will strive to introduce Houstonians to Thai flavors they may not have experienced elsewhere. The restaurant will also utilize family recipes that require hard-to-source ingredients inspired by four regions of Thailand — northern, southern, northeast and central.
Both Srasrisuwan and Loetkhamfu were born in Thailand, growing up in the southern and northern regions. The team has dreamed of creating an authentic Thai restaurant since connecting at a networking event in 2014.
The hospitality industry had been a part of the pair’s background. Srasrisuwan spent a decade working in her family’s hotel, Khanom Golden Beach, in the Nakhon Si Thammarat province on the Gulf of Thailand. Now she is a global operational planning and resource management consultant for Schlumberger.
Loetkhamfu, meanwhile, was a chef partner in Erawan Seafood & Steak, a Thai fusion restaurant in New York.
At Kin Dee, Srasrisuwan will oversee the business side, while Loetkhamfu serves as executive chef and manage the kitchen.
“We have conceptualized Kin Dee to be a truly authentic representation of our homeland in its flavors, its ingredients, its feel, and its overall vision – a vision that harkens back to Thailand but simultaneously infuses new elements into what a modern Thai restaurant can be,” Srasrisuwan said in a news release.
The menu, made up of mostly Thailand-sourced ingredients, includes dishes such as the Money Bag, or “Tung Thong” in Thai, which is deep-fried minced chicken wrapped in an edible golden paper and Grilled Thai Meatballs, or “Luk Chin Ping,” which are Thai homemade meatballs with tamarin sauce.
Each entree will come in the form of a noodle-based signature Thai dish. Examples are the Southern Style Green Curry, or “Kanom Jeen Kaeng Khiao Wan,” which is Thai southern-style green curry served on rice noodles, and Cassroled Shrimp, or “Koong Op Woon Sen,” which is a shrimp claypot with bean crystal noodles.
Kin Dee will also serve classics like Pad Thai and Chicken Satay.
With the restaurant set to open Friday during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kin Dee plans to follow the safety protocols outlined by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott as well as the broader guidelines by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Kin Dee will operate 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5–10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.