UPDATE: See below for a statement from owner Tony Nguyen.
One of the Inner Loop's most popular Viet-Cajun restaurants has served its last bowl of crawfish. Saigon House announced it has permanently closed its location in Midtown.
Chef-owner Tony Nguyen earned wide acclaim for his flavorful Viet-Cajun preparations that included boiled seafood, wok-fried tamarind crab, and oxtail pho, including a spot on Thrillist's list of America's 28 best Vietnamese restaurants. It also recently took second place in the recent 6th Annual Bánh Mì Cookoff.
At the height of crawfish season, diners would huddle by the entrance waiting for the opportunity to order multiple pounds of Nguyen's signature H-Town Bang, his take on the garlic-butter flavor. Pounds of steaming mudbugs emerged from the kitchen before being quickly devoured.
Those crowds fueled the perception that the restaurant has been successful, which makes the announcement such a surprise. The owner of Chinatown staple Crawfish Cafe cited Saigon House's success as one of the reasons they chose to open a second location in The Heights.
Saigon House ranked 30th on CultureMap's list of Houston's top 100 restaurants. It is the first restaurant on the list to close.
CultureMap contacted Nguyen to learn more about the specific reasons for the closure as well as what his future plans might be. He offered this statement:
Saigon House was reaching towards the end of its lease. We decided as a team that it wasn’t in our best interest to continue Saigon House at 3101 Main in Midtown. We appreciate all the love and support from Houston. You will hear from us soon. We are going to get organized and find funding. We are looking into NextSeed for our next projects. We are going to take some time to work on our craft. Chef Tony J. Nguyen really wants to learn BBQ.
We love Houston too much to be gone for long.
See ya soon,
Tony J. Nguyen