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Houston’s Sauciest Viet-Cajun Crawfish Is Making a Comeback

Reunite with the famous H-Town Bang mudbugs when Xin Chao chef Tony Nguyen reopens Saigon House on FM 1960

A hand holding a pile of boiled crawfish drenched in a spicy sauce.
Saigon House’s extra-saucy crawfish
Saigon House/Facebook

Saigon House, the wildly popular Viet-Cajun crawfish restaurant that helped launch chef Tony Nguyen’s career, will reopen on FM 1960 sometime next spring.

Nguyen confirmed the restaurant’s reopening to Eater, saying he hopes to be ready “before crawfish season,” which typically runs from January to July in Texas. Nguyen has already filed alcohol permits for the restaurant, at 3645 Cypress Creek Parkway, and created a nascent Facebook page for the spot.

Saigon House was first founded in Midtown, at 3101 Main Street in 2015. Nguyen took the reins in 2017 shortly after Hurricane Harvey, and the restaurant quickly gained accolades for his “H-Town Bang crawfish” — boiled mudbugs tossed in spicy, messy garlic butter-cilantro sauce. Saigon's House’s other dishes included “Thai Surprise” crawfish made with chiles, basil, and lemongrass, Texas brisket pho, gumbo, chicken wings, and more.

In 2019, the restaurant began a period of transition. First, Nguyen announced he would be opening a second location, on FM 1960 (also known as Cypress Creek Parkway). Later that year, the original Midtown location of Saigon House, which had been closed temporarily, shuttered for good.

In early 2020, Nguyen announced that he was working on a new Vietnamese restaurant, Xin Chao, with fellow restaurateur and Masterchef winner Christine Ha. A few months later, the northwest Houston location of Saigon House opened, in May 2020. But it was to be short-lived. Saigon House closed over the summer after only a year, with Nguyen opting not to renew his lease.

In the meantime, Nguyen was also selling his crawfish through a private Facebook group, and launched a food truck that was parked outside Xin Chao while construction on the restaurant continued. In September 2020, the much-anticipated First Ward Vietnamese restaurant opened, quickly winning acclaim from Houston diners and critics alike.

At Xin Chao, both Ha and Nguyen put their own personal spins on Texas-influenced Vietnamese cuisine, including recipes passed down from their parents. Nguyen also occasionally offered Vietnamese-style boiled crawfish when it was in season.

With the reopening of Saigon House, he'll be able to return to Viet-Cajun dishes that helped gain him recognition in the city. Stay tuned to Eater for a more firm opening announcement.

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