I don't know about you all, but I've been waiting for this moment since...Monday.
And even though I'm super pumped for the weekend, I did have some definite highlights during the week. In particular, I attended a Houston Food Blogger Collective dinner on Tuesday night at Songkran Thai Kitchen, and it was a wonderful evening! (psst, click here to check out the latest video I put together about our previous event at The Counter!)
The night started off with a cocktail reception out front, where we were provided with one drink ticket to use towards a glass of white wine, red wine, or a lychee martini. I opted for the lychee martini, which was strong, subtly sweet, and incredibly smooth.
They also passed around a whole slew of appetizers during the reception. I was able to try two vegetarian-friendly apps, the por pia tod (crispy veggie spring roll) and the kari puff (baked curry potato puff). Of the two, the veggie spring roll was my favorite. The rolls were served piping hot on lollipop sticks (I'm sure there's a much more beautiful, eloquent, Thai term for these?) and had a delightful layered crunch to them. The filling was popping with flavor and texture, and was accented nicely with the sweet sauce served underneath.
After the cocktail reception, we were seated on their beautiful outdoor side patio, which (thankfully) was lined with gigantic fans and misters (since Houston refuses to acknowledge we are well into fall now).
Executive Chef and owner Junnajet Hurapan visited with us and gave us a rundown of the menu and what to expect for the evening. The passion with which this talented Bangkok native has about his food was evident through his boundless energy and enthusiasm.
During dinner I had the pleasure of sitting with Natalia, Arash, Arash's friend Jeff, Greg, and Judy. Getting to know fellow food-lovers over awesome food is not a bad way to spend a Tuesday night, let me tell you!
We were served three family-style courses, and fortunately I was able to indulge in a few different vegetarian options. The first course looked like this:
- larb gai (spicy chicken lettuce wrap with herb, chili & lime)
- pad hoi (wok PEI mussels with red curry & Thai basil)
- nuer nam tok (grilled flatiron steak with shallot, dry bird chili vinaigrette)
- pad-ped pla (Bangkok fillet fish with chili rhizome & kaffir lime)
- tow hou tod (crispy turnip cake with egg, bean sprout, wild chive)
The tow hou tod was the only veg offering in the first course, and it was by far my favorite thing I ate that evening. Before I realized the cubes I was eating were in fact turnips, I could have sworn they were potatoes! They were fluffy, hearty, and felt totally sinful. The bean sprouts provided a pleasing textural contrast, and the hot sauce drizzled on top packed some serious heat and was a wonderful added layer. I would absolutely come back and order this dish!
This is what the second course looked like:
- tow hou pad prik (spicy wok tofu with three peppers & garlic chive)
- pla sam ros (crispy whole red snapper with three flavor sauce)
- neua siam (braised wagyu short rib with Thai herb sauce)
- kang phet ped yang (clay pot crispy duck with red curry & pineapple)
THE FISH HAD A FACE AND KIM COINCIDENTALLY CONTINUED BEING A VEGETARIAN.
Just kidding, the fish's face didn't really bother me. In fact, it was quite photogenic! I still however, did not eat it. But I DID eat the tofu, and I very much enjoyed it! Also incredibly spicy, the tofu was cooked perfectly - It was pleasantly crispy and golden on the outside, and wonderfully soft (but not soggy) on the inside.
Finally, we were served a dessert plate which consisted of:
- white chocolate bread pudding (homemade brioche bread, cocoa fudge, & coffee ice cream)
- molten chocolate cake (strawberry coulis, almond brittle, & vanilla bean ice cream)
- lychee & jackfruit crème brûlée (served with fried banana rolls)
- sagu tua dum (tapioca pearls, sweet corn, black beans, and young coconut)
The standout among this quartet was far and away the sagu tua dum. I hadn't read the description prior to my first bite, so I was fascinated to discover corn and black beans in my dessert! The hearty beans and corn, along with the gummy tapioca pearls swirled together in a pool of silky awesomeness, punched with a hit of sensational coconut. It was just so interesting and different, and I loved it!
The decadent white chocolate bread pudding was also notable. The fluffy bread and rich coffee ice cream were an absolute delight!
Based on the delicious offerings I sampled that evening, I definitely want to go back to Songkran to try some more of their vegetarian fare. The patio is lovely, and next time I'd like to sit inside the gorgeous restaurant, which is decorated with dramatic fixtures, bold colors, and romantic, dimmed lighting. The Houston Food Blogger Collective is an awesome group of people, and I am so glad I was able to attend such a fun (and delicious!) event!
So, go. It's Friday. You deserve this.