Go Fish

Extreme Eats: Crispy Whole Red Snapper

As much a conversational piece at the table as a dish, this extreme red snapper is a feast for the eyes.

By Megha Tejpal August 7, 2015

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The whole red snapper at Songkran Thai should be on your extreme eats hit list.

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. Like many of the dishes on the menu, the snapper is served family-style and is not as hard to dig into as it may seem. The flaky, golden shell breaks apart easily into the tender meat of the snapper, and is complimented perfectly by Hurapan's tangy sauce. While I have experienced many meals with a whole fish of some variety, never have I seen a chef capture such movement in a dish as in the red snapper at Songkran.

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The second location of Songkran is now open in Sugar Land—and it's participating in Houston Restaurant Weeks.

Using only fresh, quality ingredients, Chef Jett Hurapan, truly has a way of combining exotic herbs and spices to create contemporary Thai dishes. As a native of Bangkok, he has created a menu at Songkran which goes beyond the norm, inviting guests to experiment with their wild side. And nobody said vegetarians can't get wild—the restaurant highlights an entirely separate, full vegetarian menu from appetizers to entrees.

With a full bar, Songkran features cocktail pairings (my personal favorite is the Thai-jito, a refreshing Thai version of a mojito which pairs well with the spicy appetizers!), wine pairings and excellent dessert wines. Both locations of Songkran Thai Kitchen are participating in Houston Restaurant Weeks, a great time to sample dishes from the large menu, but as for the crispy whole red snapper...you'll have to make a one-on-one date with that gorgeous creature.

To check out the HRW menu that Songkran is featuring, or to make a reservation go to houstonrestaurantweeks.com.

Songkran Thai Kitchen, 2258 Texas Dr., Sugar Land, 281-670-8625, songkranthaikitchen.com


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