As Houston's restaurants slowly reopen for dine-in service, one of this year's most eagerly anticipated new arrivals will make its debut on Friday, May 22. Kin Dee, a new Thai restaurant in The Heights, will open for lunch and dinner this week in the Market at Houston Heights development at 1533 N. Shepherd Dr..
Owned by Thai natives Lukkaew Srasrisuwan and chef Miranda Loetkhamfu, Kin Dee aims to serve authentic flavors from four regions in Thailand. Srasrisuwan has worked as a consultant for Schlumberger, but her hospitality background comes courtesy of her family, who operate the Khanom Golden Beach hotel on the Gulf of Thailand. Houstonians may know Miranda Leotkhamfu as the owner of A Real Thai Massage, but she previously worked as a chef and partner in Erawan Seafood & Steak, a Thai restaurant in Queens.
"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 statement. “We feel that Kin Dee represents a wholly unique addition to the vibrant and diverse Houston culinary community and are ecstatic to open our doors to Houstonians and visitors alike this week.”
In a city with dozens of Thai restaurants, claiming to serve anything that's "wholly unique" is a bold statement, but Kin Dee bolsters its claim by combining ingredients sourced from Thailand with locally grown herbs. Instead, diners can look forward to Thai boat noodle soup (Kuaytiaw Reua), northern-style rice noodles with spicy pork sauce (Khanom Jin Nam Ngiao), and Thai-style salmon sashimi.
On the beverage side, the restaurant offers 13 signature cocktails — one for each signature entree. They include the Tom Yum (gin, lemongrass, lime) and the Phukett, a rum cocktail with both pineapple and mango juice that's served in a pineapple. Wine, local beer, and Thai beer round out the boozier options.
Srasrisuwan designed the 2,500-square-foot space with nods to her homeland, including a mural with elephants, the national symbol of Thailand, and red accents inspired by Thai chili peppers. At full capacity, Kin Dee will seat 77 inside, including 14 at the bar, plus another 20 on its Shepherd-facing patio. In order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, all tables are spaced at least 6 feet apart, staff are wearing masks and gloves, and disposable menus and silverware are being used.
Kin Dee; 1533 N. Shepherd Dr.; 281-826-2655; Monday - Friday, 11 am - 3 pm and 5 - 10 pm; Saturday and Sunday 11 am - 10 pm.