Songkran Thai Grill

Songkran co-owner and Executive Chef Jurrajet u201cJettu201d Hurapan opened the Sugar Land restaurant in July 2015.

Songkran co-owner and Executive Chef Jurrajet u201cJettu201d Hurapan opened the Sugar Land restaurant in July 2015.

When Songkran Thai Grill opened in Sugar Land, Executive Chef Junnajet “Jett” Hurapan thought it would be an exact copy of his original Houston location. Instead, he changed the restaurant’s name, menu and prices this year to attract a more casual and family-friendly clientele.


“People in Sugar Land come to us because they see us as a high-end restaurant,” Hurapan said. “So we said to ourselves, ‘how can we cater to Sugar Land families?’”


Formerly Songkran Thai Kitchen, the business specializes in traditional Thai and street food staples. The restaurant offers cheaper, commercial Thai recipes, Hurapan said.


“Street food is … you don’t have to really finesse too much,” he said. “You bring out the bold flavor, and that’s it.”


Some of the new dishes include grilled calamari, barbeque chicken, sizzling hot plates, papaya salad and a children’s menu. General Manager Niki Vu said the children’s meals are served in a bento box arrangement because children may prefer items not to touch.


“I have [customers] thanking me for the fact that we actually have a kids’ menu now, and that their kids are exploring new food items through that,” Vu said.


Songkran Thai Grill is one of the smaller restaurants at which she has worked. One of her favorite dishes is the Son-In-Law eggs.


“They’re hard-boiled eggs that are deep-fried, and they’re covered in a tamarind and chili sauce,” she said.


Thai cooking uses basic ingredients such as coconut milk, lemongrass and palm sugar. Hurapan said ingredients are easy to find because Thailand and Houston have similar climates.


He moved to the U.S. from Thailand when he was six years old and comes from a family of cooks. He went to culinary school in New York and moved to Houston in 2007 to consult for the now-closed Gigi’s Asian Bistro.


He left Gigi’s in 2011, though not before meeting his wife, Jira, a pastry chef who now works at Songkran. He opened BLU Restaurant and Lounge with Amy and Jiten Karnani in Sugar Land, next door to where Songkran is now.


Songkran Thai Grill is a call back to Hurapan’s roots. For the Sugar Land restaurant’s first anniversary this year, Hurapan said he brought a monk from a Buddhist temple to bless the establishment—which is also how he opened the restaurant.


“My job is to take the old world food and bring it back so that people know Thai food is more than just curry or spicy,” he said.


The next step is a third location—Songkran Thai Express in the downtown tunnels for Houston’s business clientele. Hurapan said many of his Sugar Land customers work in downtown Houston.


“We’re probably going to open up in the next four months,” he said.




*The original version of this story misspelled the chef's first name.



MOST RECENT

Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced in a June 30 State Board of Education meeting that students will be taking the STAAR in the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Education organizations call for STAAR requirements to be waived another year

Gov. Greg Abbott waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, testing requirements in March of earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With a clinical background in internal, pulmonary and critical care medicine, Corry has been with BCM for 20 years. He now focuses primarily on inflammatory lung diseases, such as asthma and smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. David Corry discusses immunity, vaccine production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rapid development and distribution of a vaccine worldwide and successful achievement of herd immunity will be key players in determining the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. David Corry, a professor of Medicine in the Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Section at Baylor College of Medicine.

With 93 new coronavirus cases reported in Fort Bend County July 10, there have been a total of 4,617 cases countywide. (Community Impact Staff)
Fort Bend County July 10 coronavirus updates: 93 new cases, record number of hospitalizations

With 93 new coronavirus cases reported in Fort Bend County July 10, there have been a total of 4,617 cases countywide.

The new partnership will provide on-site, same-day testing and results for assisted-living facility staff and their residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
State announces partnership for increased COVID-19 testing for patients, staff at assisted-living facilities, nursing homes

These test sites will help the state work toward the goal of processing up to 100,000 tests in the first month.

Texas Medical Center reports only 4% uptick in ICU bed use despite continued COVID-19 case increases

Compared to 1,350 total intensive care units in use June 30, Texas Medical Center has seen only a slight uptick in occupancies since then, with 1,394 reported July 9.

After an eight-year teaching career, Christine Nguyen started her own bakery business—The Sweet Boutique—in Sugar Land Town Square in 2011. (Courtesy Composure Studios)
Mochi doughnuts save The Sweet Boutique in Sugar Land during coronavirus pandemic

The Sweet Boutique’s mochi doughnuts have been attracting people from as far as The Woodlands and Galveston.

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. (Source: Matt Frankel/Community Impact Newspaper)
Refinancing a home, police departments address protests: Popular news this week from Greater Houston

Read popular stories from the Greater Houston area on Community Impact Newspaper’s website.

Fort Bend ISD will present its plans for the 2020-21 school year, including several changes to the calendar, at the special called board of trustees meeting July 13. (Community Impact staff)
Fort Bend ISD to discuss plans, calendar for 2020-21 school year at July 13 meeting

Tune in to the July 13 Fort Bend ISD board of trustees meeting to see the district present its plans for the 2020-21 school year, including several changes to the calendar.

Four baseball teams, including the Sugar Land Skeeters, will compete in 56 games at Constellation Field this July and August. (Courtesy Sugar Land Skeeters)
Sugar Land Skeeters begin two-month summer league at Constellation Field on July 10

Four baseball teams, including the Sugar Land Skeeters, will compete in 56 games at Constellation Field this July and August.

Fort Bend County confirmed 111 new coronavirus cases and one death July 9. (Community Impact Staff)
With 111 new coronavirus cases July 9, Fort Bend County has seen 4,524 total cases since March

There are now more than eight cases of the coronavirus per every 1,000 Missouri City residents.

Effective July 9, hospitals in more than 100 counties across the state must now postpone elective surgeries unrelated to COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
MAP: Governor expands restrictions on elective surgeries to more than 100 Texas counties

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expanded the restrictions that initially required only hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties to postpone all non-medically necessary surgeries and procedures that are unrelated to COVID-19.