Kin Dee, Houston’s Newest Thai Restaurant

Camryn Davis

“Kin Dee” — which means “eat well” in Thai as well as being apart of a traditional Thai blessing, is the perfect name for the newest Thai restaurant in Houston Heights. Kin Dee opened in May under longtime friends Lukkaew Srasrisuwan and Miranda Loetkhamfu, both raised in Thailand, though their paths crossed in Houston in 2014. Their 30-dish menu reflects four distinct regions of Thailand through its authenticity, unique flavors, and overall vision. We were lucky enough to try out a few of Kin Dee’s signature dishes, and boy is there a lot to talk about.

I’ll start off by making it known: I love Thai food. I have always loved Thai food. I think Houston has amazing Thai food. And I think Kin Dee might be my new favorite spot for Thai food in Houston. When you walk into Kin Dee, you’re greeted with a lovely ceiling to floor elephant mural, luxurious red booths, and pleasant gold light fixtures. It’s all very cute and really sets the mood for what you’re about to eat and how exactly Kin Dee’s food is going to make you feel. I’ll give you a hint: it’s going to make you feel fantastic.

The appetizers offered at Kin Dee range from a few choices of salads, meat skewers, and wrapped food, such as the Money Bags — deep-fried minced chicken and shrimp wrapped in golden “money bags” meant to pass on good fortune or gold. A personal favorite from the appetizer menu is the Thai Flower Dumpling. First of all, they’re probably the prettiest food I’ve ever eaten. The blue, petal-like dough is so delicate on the plate and so delicious once you eat it. The dumpling’s peanut filling is a perfect mix of savory and sweet that’ll leave you wanting more than just four. Pro tip: DEFINITELY put some cilantro on top, it’s a crazy perfect compliment to the peanut filling.

Now, before we move onto Kin Dee’s entrees, let’s talk about their drink menu. If you don’t drink, the Butterfly Pea Flower Tea is a perfect choice for you. It’s an herbal tea from butterfly pea flower mixed with lime juice with zero caffeine. It’s a refreshing tea that’s lightly fruity from the lime juice. Now, if you do drink, there are endless options for what kind of cocktail you can get. From a refreshing Sabai with basil leaves and fresh lime juice to a sweet and creamy Mango Sticky Rice with coconut milk and mango puree, there’s a cocktail for every mood you’re in!

The main dishes at Kin Dee are primarily noodle-based, with Thai staples such as curries, Pad Thai, drunken noodles, and Thai soups. There’s an entree for everyone; Pad Woon Sen with tofu for the vegetarian in your life, Kin Dee Fried Rice for the rice lover, or Shrimp Tom Yum Noodle Soup for the seafood fanatic. An entree I think everyone could enjoy, except vegetarians (sorry to all the vegetarian readers), is the Northern Style Curry. Kin Dee’s Northern Style Curry is beyond delicious. It’s a bowl of everything good — egg noodles, coconut chicken curry, crispy noodles, lime, and shredded vegetables. If I could only recommend one item from Kin Dee, it’s definitely this curry. You have to try it; there aren’t enough words to describe just how good it is.

If you’re more into rice over noodles, I can respect that, and might I suggest the Thai Basil Chicken as your entree? Minced chicken (or tofu!), Thai jasmine rice, long bean, and Thai Chili Peppers are the primary ingredients in Kin Dee’s Thai Basil Chicken, and I just have to say, the flavor of the Thai jasmine rice is out of this world. Thai Basil Chicken is an incredibly popular dish in Thailand, so if you want a little taste of Thailand, this is the perfect rice dish for you!

Overall, Kin Dee is the perfect addition to the new Market development in Houston Heights. It’s perfect for lunch with the family or a night out with friends. It’s a great introduction to Thai food for those who haven’t had authentic Thai, while also being something comforting and familiar to those who already love and adore Thai food. If you find yourself in the Heights, give Kin Dee a try and find your new favorite Thai spot!

Kin Dee is located at 1533 N Shepherd Drive Suite 160, Houston, TX 77008. Their hours are 11 AM-3 PM; 5 PM-10 PM Monday through Thursday, 11 AM-3 PM;5 PM-12 AM on Fridays, 11 AM-12 AM on Saturdays, and 11 AM-10 PM on Sundays.