A Traditional Taste of Thailand at Tuk Tuk Thai Resturant

A Traditional Taste of Thailand at Tuk Tuk Thai Restaurant

A couple from Chiang Mai brings the essence of Thailand to the Coastal Bend

a variety of menu items from Tuk Tuk Thai Restaurant

Photo by Taylor Cravey

Nuttapan “Nick” and Kanya “Judy” Weeranitikun arrived in Corpus Christi in search of a new beginning and a better life for their two young sons. The family of four journeyed from their home in Chiang Mai, the largest city in mountainous Northern Thailand. The enterprising couple wasted no time in opening Tuk Tuk Thai Restaurant in late 2022, offering the Coastal Bend a taste of traditional Thai food. And we are here for it. 

Thai Tea from Tuk Tuk Thai Restaurant
Thai Tea | Photo by Taylor Cravey

The Weeranitikuns are an impressive pair. Nick studies business at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and has a background in tech. Judy manages to own a successful restaurant back in Chiang Mai as well all while navigating life in a new country with two teenage boys. Despite their packed schedules, Nick and Judy wanted to share the fruits of their homeland with the people and place they have grown to love. 

Named after the small cars that line the streets of Thailand, Tuk Tuk Thai Restaurant is a beautiful reflection of Thai culture and cuisine. The dining area was thoughtfully designed with decorative elements from Chiang Mai. Judy commissioned a Thai artist to create a large mural on one of the interior walls. It depicts a gold-embellished landscape of Chiang Mai’s famous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple and Chang Phueak Gate. 

photo of the inside of Tuk Tuk Thai Restaurant
The restaurant is open Tuesdays-Sundays from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and for dinner from 5-9 p.m. | Photo by Taylor Cravey

Nick and Judy worked tirelessly on the menu, striking the perfect balance between beloved Thai favorites and Northern Thai dishes diners less familiar in America; and many of the ingredients used at Tuk Tuk are sourced directly from Thailand. Their chicken Pad Thai is everything we hoped it’d be – tangy and nutty with hints of sweet tamarind and a spicy finish. 

The beef pineapple fried rice, studded with cashews and snow peas, is another crowd-pleaser. The undisputed winner, though, is the Kai-Soi, a traditional dish from Northern Thailand with a heaping bowl of hearty egg noodles topped with pork, chicken or beef. Crispy noodles gave the dish a nice crunch, while pickled cabbage added an unexpected acidity that was delightful. 

Kai-Soi from Tuk Tuk Thai Restaurant
Kai-Soi | Photo by Taylor Cravey

Nick and Judy’s commitment to using quality ingredients sets their restaurant apart. The chili spice blend that accompanies most dishes at Tuk Tuk ships directly from Judy’s sister, who sundries native Thai chilis, then roasts and grinds them with other spices. Judy’s curry paste is prepared in-house in small batches. Other ingredients are sourced locally, with excellence being the driving goal.

A taste of authentic Thai cuisine is now just around the corner. As Nick likes to say, the food at Tuk Tuk Thai Restaurant is “a taste like home, a taste you will remember.”  

Contact: 6314 Yorktown Blvd, Suite 201

Interested in more stories from the January issue? Check out the new spirits boutique at Italian Cowboy Food & Provisions.