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News & Press | Best Thai Food Houston

Monday October 3, 2016

Page 69...Born and raised in New York City to a family of chefs


Tuesday October 27, 2015

This week, we've got a few reviews that will ignite your curry cravings, a post for seafood lovers and a few healthy but scrumptious recipes for you to savor.


Hank on Food has the dish on Songkran Thai Kitchen at 2258 Texas in Sugar Land, where he enjoyed the industrial-meets-Thai decor, including a mural of the Buddha, and a fried shrimp cake appetizer did just the trick to whet his appetite. He followed that with a green curry chicken dish, which received high marks for its variety of flavors and textures, and he gave the whole experience an A-plus. Bonus points for a refreshing Thai beer and the Flying Saucer location across the street.


Monday October 19, 2015

Well folks, I've recently been hitting a few places that have been on my "to eat at" list for a while now.  I've also been taking care of the other minutiae of life too.  Eating is a part of it to be sure.  Thai Food hit it's big popular stride in the US in the 1990s and has maintained a presence ever since.  This complex, sometimes spicy mix of meats, veggies, fruits, rice, coconut milk, curry and so on is always welcome at my table. 

I first developed a taste for it in the early 1990s on a trip to Vancouver, BC (Happy Election Day, Canadian friends, BTW!).   I visited the no longer standing Just One Thai Bistro on Denman Street, just around the corner from the Sylvia Hotel.  While the Thai Restaurant Group is still going strong there, upon my return to Houston, I began to search out Thai Restaurants and found a mixed bag.  That was over 20 years ago, back when an early proto version of this website appeared on GeoCities, under the name Hank's Cool Stuff.  Today, Houston has many great choices of Thai food at many levels.  One of the more elegant levels is the Songrkan Thai Kitchen, operating two locations--one in Uptown Park and the other in Sugar Land Town Square.  Chef Jett Hurapan and his wife Jira, a pastry chef, have been producing flavorful Thai dishes in an elegant yet relaxed setting.  I had a recent opportunity to try their Sugar Land location.  But first, some background from their website:


Tuesday October 13, 2015

I love Thai food, and I thought I knew Thai food, but it turns out I really don’t. Chef Jett at Songkran Thai Kitchen is changing our perceptions about Thai food. As he explained, what we generally think of as Thai food is very spicy, but that’s what he calls “Thai street food.” In the fancy hotels, they eat what he calls “royal Thai food,” which is something completely different.


Friday August 7, 2015

SOME KIDS HAVE THEIR PARENTS to thank for their first puppy or their first visit to Disney World; I have my parents to thank for my first trip to Thailand where I fell in love with the cuisine and have been a pad thai-crazed foodie ever since. Without a doubt, Thai food is my absolute favorite—the fresh herbs and flavorful spices, the colorful curries, and the combination of meat and seafood noodle dishes. It’s all good, all the time in my book. However, up until recently, dining out at a good Thai food restaurant in Houston—while still a delicious experience—was hardly a black-tie affair. Enter Songkran Thai Kitchen, a truly fine Thai dining experience in Houston, and more recently at its new second location in Sugar Land Town Square.

From the charming front patio to the striking decor in the main dining room, the cozy location in Sugar Land is as much the authentic dining experience as at the Uptown Park location. Menu items include Thai favorites like chicken satay with peanut dipping sauce and chicken with green curry to the more extreme pla sam ros, or crispy whole red snapper. A head turner, among other things, this dish is one of Chef Jett Hurapan’s signature dishes made with a bold three-flavor sauce.


Tuesday August 4, 2015

Songkran Thai Kitchen celebrated a successful first year by expanding with a second location located in Sugarland’s Town Square.  Echo-ing its modern Asian decor from its first location, the space feels perfect for anything from a family meal to a girls night out.

Owners and husband and wife team Chef Jett and Pastry Chef Jira, and co-owners Amy and Jiten Karnani pay homage to Thailand’s most famous festival, Songkran, an important Buddhist water celebration that marks the start of the Thai New Year.  Both Chef Jett and Chef Jira are from Bangkok, Thailand and built the menu using many traditional recipes from their homeland.  “Most people just think of Thai food as spicy street food,  but we have so much more than that.” said Chef Jett.   Along with a great menu, the Songkran bar also includes and extensive list of cocktails, wines, beers and sake.  I highly recommend trying out the lychee martini, a signature here.


Monday August 3, 2015

International Beer Day at Songkran

You can try a variety of international beers at Songkran Thai Kitchen for just $3 each during happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Maybe you want a traditional Thai beer? Check out Singha, made in Bangkok in traditional German style. What about Belgian beer? They've got that, too, Leffe Brune, a dark ale with a roasted malt flavor. 1101 Uptown Park and 2258 Texas Drive in Sugar Land.


Monday August 3, 2015

Songkran Thai Kitchen The second location of Songkran Thai Kitchen, the Uptown Park concept by chef Junnajett Hurapan, is located next door to his Blu eatery in Town Center. He uses a delicate technique in dishes like clay-pot crispy duck with red curry and pineapple, as well as baked half Maine lobster with "angry" dip ($24). 2258 Texas Dr. - 


Sunday July 26, 2015

Patrick Woody: Very good dishes and atmosphere. I went there on a whim and really happy I did. Very good recipes, presentation and value. Good choice for business lunch. It's my new Uptown Park preference.

Local Houston MagazineLocal Houston Magazine: Offering strikingly fresh cooking with a zen, open atmosphere, Songkran Thai Kitchen is a great choice for Thai cuisine. Chef Jett Hurapan creates fiery dishes that are about as bonafide as it gets. Read more.

mai p.mai pham: Gorgeous new space, fantastic patio. Opens April 28 with authentic Thai food. Get the spicy beef salad, pad thai, fish cakes, three flavor fried fish, beef jerky. Seriously --it's all good!


Monday July 13, 2015

Chef Junnajet “Jett” Hurapan has found the recipe for building successful restaurants and that begins with his dedication to providing robust traditional cuisine.

Hurapan, who opened Songkran Thai Kitchen only a year ago in Uptown Park Galleria in Houston, recently launched the concept’s second location in Sugar Land in the heart of Sugar Land Town Center at 2259 Texas Drive.

With the success of the flagship Songkran location during its first year, Hurapan recognized the need to expand. It was an easy choice to open their second location in diverse, burgeoning Sugar Land, where Jett and his wife, Jira Hurapan, have settled since their move from New York in 2007.

His Songkran menu, bursting with authentic recipes reminiscent of his Bangkok, Thailand birthplace, not only captivates the culture but has diners craving for more. Songkran’s resident pastry chef, Jira Hurapan is also from Bangkok.


Monday July 6, 2015

Bangkok native Chef Jett Hurapan and his wife, Jira, have expanded their Uptown Thai restaurant into the Houston suburbs.

The couple has opened a second Songkran Thai Kitchen in Sugar Land Town Square, at U.S. 59 and Highway 6, according to a release from the mixed-use development.

The new location at 2258 Texas Drive will offer traditional Thai food made with fresh ingredients, such as shrimp paste, Thai chilies and coconut. The restaurant will also serve Thai cocktails, imported beers and homemade desserts made by Jira Hurapan.


Friday July 3, 2015

Songkran had a near stealth opening in Sugar Land -- located in the Sugar Land Town Center between Blu and Rouxpour.  Since moving to the Houston Metro area, I've been in search of that crazy delicious Thai food experience and have been usually disappointed until recently.  The decor is elegant and exotic -- good date-night venue.  They have a happy hour menu which is very reasonably priced and delicious.  Tried the pad thai (good standard to compare across Thai restaurants) as well as the pad see ew (wide rice noodles stir fried with chinese broccoli and sauce). Also had the green curry chicken.  All were delicious and perfectly cooked with notably upscale ingredients and presentation.  I have >never< had chicken that tender and succulent in a thai curry before and this was phenomenal.


Tuesday June 16, 2015

When chef Jurrajet "Jett" Hurapan and Blu owners Amy and Jiten Karnani announced their plans to open Songkran Thai Kitchen in Uptown Park, it ws seen as a homecoming of sorts for the chef, whose first job in Houston was in the Galleria at the now shuttered Gigi's Asian Bistro. Songkran has found an audience by offering diners authentic Thai dishes prepared with elevated ingredients: as chef Jett described it last year "Thai guy — Thai food." 


Monday June 8, 2015

Following a successful first year Songkran Thai Kitchen has opened a second location in Sugar Land. Chef Junnajet “Jett” Hurapan, along with Songkran’s resident pastry chef, Jira Hurapan (chef Jett’s wife) built a menu of robust flavors with traditional Thai recipes reminiscent of their mutual birthplace of Bangkok.


Saturday May 16, 2015

Songkran Thai in Uptown Park is named after the Thai festival that celebrates the new year in Thailand and other countries that go by the Buddhist calendar. I was so impressed at the bites of spicy green curry that chef Junnajet "Jett" Hurapan and his staff served at the recent Menu of Menus event that a visit certainly seemed in order. There’s definitely something to celebrate here.

Thai food isn't often identified with its sausages, but there's a lot to be said for the Sai Krok Isan, which is made from pork and sweet rice. It’s accented with roasted peanuts, cilantro and slivers of ginger. There were little slices of red Thai pepper strewn about as well, just daring you to spear them up for a punch of heat. 


Monday December 1, 2014

Exotic and sultry, the decor at Songkran Thai Kitchen, with its larger than life hand-painted murals set against dark wood, is the perfect setting for a meal showcasing the talents of chef Jett Hurapan. The Thai chef, who was raised in Thai kitchen, has really poured his heart into the menu, creating dishes that appeal to a wide range of palates while staying true to his roots. Dishes like his Nam Tok (Thai beef salad), Son-in-law eggs, or three-flavor fried fish, are authentic and real without burning the palate. Those wanting more spice can always specify a higher degree. The location in Uptown Park is also a huge plus -- no need to venture out to the westside to find good Thai eats -- this one is in town and fabulous.


Wednesday November 5, 2014

It's time to update the Eater 38, your answer and ours to any question that begins, "Can you recommend a restaurant?" This highly elite group covers the entire city, spans myriad cuisines, and collectively satisfies all of your restaurant needs, save for those occasions when you absolutely must spend half a paycheck. Every couple of months, we'll be adding pertinent restaurants that were omitted, have newly become eligible (restaurants must be open at least six months), or have stepped up their game. These restaurants aren't ranked in any particular order.

The new additions this time around include Coltivare, Songkran, Ibiza, Boada Cuisine, and Jonathan's The Rub. We've removed the shuttered Coppa, Cove, and MF Sushi, as well as Giacoma's and Mala Sichuan Bistro.


Monday September 1, 2014

Songkran Thai Kitchen

If you’re looking to shake things up on a Friday night, look no further than Songkran, the newest addition to Uptown Park, where chef Junnajet Hurapan’s menu complements the restaurant’s hip, sexy atmosphere. We recommend the addictive “heavenly beef,” which will go over well with any Sriracha fan; divine clay-pot crispy duck with red curry and pineapple; the pad see ew, served with tender beef and nicely crunchy Chinese broccoli; and the “son-in-law eggs” prepared with sweet tamarind and shallots.


Friday August 1, 2014

Chef Jett—aka Junnajett Hurapan—has cooked many different ways in 26 years of doing Italian, Greek, French and modern Asian in New York and Houston. But tonight, as the crowd fills his new Songkran Thai Kitchen in Uptown Park, he’s cooking the foods of his homeland in a restaurant for the first time. And he looks pretty happy about it.



Wednesday June 25, 2014

It's fitting that the name of chef Junnajet "Jett" Hurapan's new restaurant, Songkran Thai Kitchen, comes from the Sanskrit word sankranti, which means to move on or change. This restaurant is a change for Hurapan, Thai by birth but more accustomed in the past several years to cooking Cantonese cuisine at the former Gigi's Asian Bistro in The Galleria and "Euro Asian" fare at Blu in Sugar Land. With Songkran, Hurapan is moving on from pan-Asian cooking and returning to his native roots with upscale Thai food that blends his culinary school expertise with firsthand knowledge of the cuisine.


Wednesday June 4, 2014

Chef Jurrajet Hurrapan returns to the Galleria at Songkran Thai Kitchen. Located in the former 1252 Tapas space in Uptown Park, Songkran features Hurrpan's take on traditional Thai flavors blended with upscale ingredients and modern plating. Thai angels from the restaurant's namesake festival adorn the walls, giving the space a welcoming atmosphere.

Chef Jett, as he's known, is justifiably proud of his signature pad thai. The curries and homemade sausage are also standouts. A recently introduced lunch menu drops the prices, which are correct for the neighborhood and ingredients but might seem high to those used to more casual spots. 


Thursday May 15, 2014

Chef Hurapan, known to most simply as “Jett,” goes back to his Bangkok roots with the food, channeling his passion into a menu comprised of both Thai street fare and elevated royal cuisine with high-end ingredients like lobster and Wagyu beef. While the food itself is subtle in flavor, bold, plentiful condiments such as crushed red peppers and fish sauce with chile pack a punch. “Thai is all about dipping sauces so that you can adjust the flavors to your own liking,” he says.


Friday May 2, 2014

When chef Junnajet Hurapan saw the fountain out in front of the space that would be Songkran Thai Kitchen, his new Thai restaurant in Uptown Park, he couldn't help but consider it a good sign. That's because Songkran, the name he chose for the restaurant, is the word for Thai new year, which, he said, essentially is a water festival.

But Hurapan and Songkran owners Amy and Jiten Karnani went a step further to ensure good fortune: They had Buddhist monks bless the restaurant before its planned opening last week.


Thursday May 1, 2014

Blu might have just made the Eater map of great patios, but now the chef Jurrajet "Jett" Hurapan is leaving for a new place closer to town. CultureMap reports that upcoming spot Songkran Thai Kitchen in Uptown Park will be the chef's new home, and that it "will elevate traditional Thai cuisine through the use of high quality ingredients like wagyu-style beef and local produce."


Tuesday April 29, 2014

Hurapan, whom I profiled when he opened Blu in Sugar Land, has been hankering to do Thai food. A Thai guy through and through, he knows the flavors of his homeland like the back of his hand. But until now, he hasn't been able to do anything that's exclusively Thai. During his stint at Gigi's Dumpling House in the Galleria, he was doing Cantonese food. At Blu in Sugar Land, the menu was billed as "Euro Asian," which spanned other genres like Indian and Chinese. Songkran, which he is opening in partnership with the owners at Blu, is going to be his Thai baby.


Saturday April 12, 2014

A familiar face is returning to the Galleria area after two years in Sugar Land. Chef Jurrajet "Jett" Hurapan moved to Houston from New York to open the recently shuttered Gigi's Asian Bistro before moving to Sugar Land to open restaurant/nightclub BLU.


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