MasterChef season 3 winner Christine Ha teams up with locally renowned Chef Tony J. Nguyen to execute their unique take on Vietnamese cuisine.

  • Owned and operated by a team with a proven track record with Vietnamese establishments (The Blind Goat, Saigon House) that have received local and national acclaim

Xin Chao’s concept transforms the perception of Vietnamese food while honoring traditional family recipes.

  • A versatile menu featuring high-quality ingredients with modern presentation
  • Specialty cocktails and contemporary ambiance for a complete dining experience

Location in the up-and-coming Sawyer Heights neighborhood, just 5-minutes from Downtown Houston.

  • The surrounding area is undergoing a revival with new restaurants and bars, attracting young professionals
  • Over 3,500 apartment units are in development within the area
  • Spacious building with parking and a patio, unusual for this part of town


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March 26, 2020

Closing early & getting stuff done in spite of current circumstances

Xin Chao has decided to close its offering early, with a new closing date of April 2, 2020. If Xin Chao is under its maximum funding goal before that date, it will continue to accept investments until the new closing date. If you've invested in Xin Chao, you have the option to cancel your commitment until 11:59 pm CST on March 31, 2020.

Enclosed is an update from Xin Chao.

The NextSeed Team

Before Houston invoked a Stay At Home mandate on March 24, we were busy with renovations on our new home at 2310 Decatur St. We’ve redone the bar with new tiles on the backsplash and bar top, and also got new plush blue and gold stools for our future bar guests. We also bought and assembled new chairs and had benches built to begin setting up our banquette seating for the dining section. Yesterday, we received delivery of new tabletops which were handcrafted by a local woodworker. The color scheme will be light wood, soft gray, dark blue, emerald green, and accents of black and gold. Once everything is done, the dining and bar areas will look quite different from before.

Something feng shui that we did was move our main entrance to the double doors facing Decatur St. The restaurant flow feels better to us this way, and now guests will be able to access our entrance more easily from the parking spaces behind the building. In the process of moving the main entrance, we’ve reworked some of the fencing around the patio to fit the flow of foot traffic. This also allowed us to add an additional parking spot, and we all know how finding a place to park can be a challenge in this part of town!

Chefs Tony and Christine have been working diligently on finalizing the opening menu by testing recipes and figuring out plating and presentation. John has been overseeing the design and renovations of the space. We’ve also begun a call for hiring, so if you know anyone interested in joining the Xin Chao start-up, please send them our way.

With the COVID-19 pandemic so adversely affecting the restaurant industry, we are aware that we are facing great challenges. However, we are optimistic and are using this “stay at home” time to continue interviewing prospective candidates via video chat and developing recipes in our respective home kitchens. 

Once the Stay At Home mandate lifts, we’ll continue working on the beverage program and adding lighting and art to Xin Chao. A local muralist has been commissioned to pain an art piece in the restaurant. We’re going for a bright, minimalistic, mid-century modern aesthetic, and hope you’ll like it as much as we do.

We expect a slight delay with our opening because of this unprecedented situation, but once we do open, we believe people will be craving shared experiences and community more than ever, and we will be right there to welcome you and say, “Xin chao!"

With regards,

Company Description

Xin Chao (pronounced "sin chow") is a new restaurant concept from MasterChef winner Christine Ha and Chef Tony J. Nguyen. Both of Vietnamese-American heritage, these two talented chefs are teaming up to transform the perception of traditional Vietnamese cuisine through a sophisticated menu and ambiance. While other types of Asian cuisines have already gone through an evolution, Vietnamese cuisine has generally remained very traditional in both food preparation and the overall dining experience. Xin Chao aims to blend generations of family recipes with modern cooking techniques to shine a new light on classic Vietnamese dishes.

Chef Christine Ha

Chef Tony J. Nguyen

Xin Chao is located in the Sawyer Heights neighborhood of Houston, a historic area undergoing massive revival and growth. The owner/operator team at Xin Chao has successful independent restaurants already in Houston and hopes to add their modern cuisine to this part of town.

Business Model

The Opportunity 

Historically, the Sawyer Heights district in Houston, TX, served as a distribution hub for goods passing through. In recent years, major projects in the area have put it on the map as an up-and -coming night-life spot. Sawyer Heights is now rapidly becoming a culinary destination. It is currently home to other upscale and well-rated restaurants, but none are serving Vietnamese food despite Houston’s large Vietnamese population. Xin Chao fills a gap for this cuisine in a way that elevates it without losing the deep connection to traditional roots.

In addition to the creative menu, Xin Chao will offer a full bar and outdoor patio seating. Most restaurants on the main strip in Sawyer Heights are smaller, with limited seating and parking. Xin Chao’s large indoor/outdoor dining space and ample parking lot makes it an attractive destination for families and large groups, both of which are part of their target market. Residential areas nearby and planned apartment complexes bring more young professionals and families.

Media Exposure 

Xin Chao has the unique advantage of being owned and operated by two well-known chefs native to Houston. As a result, they have fan followings who will be eager to hear of their partnership on this new restaurant concept.

Christine Ha took her home cooking background all the way to the championship on MasterChef season 3. For four months, America watched her compete weekly in various cooking challenges until she was crowned the winner at the end of the season in 2012. People connected with her story of overcoming the challenge of losing her sight and re-learning how to cook. Since then, she has written a New York Times best-selling cookbook and was the first winner worldwide to become a full-fledged judge of another MasterChef franchise (Vietnam). She is also an avid public speaker and advocate for the blind and low vision and disability communities. Her first restaurant, The Blind Goat, opened in 2019 and has received a glowing 3-star review and was named one of the best new restaurants of the year by the Houston Chronicle. In January, it landed on Thrillist’s list of Best Vietnamese restaurants.

Christine Ha on MasterChef

Tony J. Nguyen has made a name for himself as a master of Asian-inspired cuisine in Houston, winning multiple awards for his work at Saigon House and Wokker. Saigon House made Thrillist's list of America's 28 best Vietnamese restaurants and won a Houston Press annual award for Best Vietnamese Restaurant and Best Pho. 

The collaboration of these two chefs will be exciting news for Houston, bringing in local, regional, and international fans to see what they are cooking up at Xin Chao.

The Menu 

Xin Chao’s menu will be a collaboration of two passionate, award-winning chefs. They each hold generations of traditional family recipes and aim to expand the concept of Vietnamese food with high-quality ingredients and modern presentation. The style of the menu will be Vietnamese “izakaya”: small and large plates to share family-style with thoughtfully curated cocktails, beers, and wines. Chefs Christine and Tony want to share their culture and heritage through a new lens with creative dishes inspired by Vietnamese flavors. 

At Xin Chao, you will find everything from fresh seafood reminiscent of the street foods of Vietnam—tamarind king crab, buttery seared scallops, grilled clams with chive oil—to elegantly plated, elevated versions of humble home-cooked dishes—pork belly braised in a clay pot, smoked duck salad, and the quintessential noodle soup, pho, served with guest’s choice of either Wagyu beef or Texas barbecue brisket smoked in-house.

Xin Chao will offer dinner, weekend brunch, and eventual late-night dining. Patrons may also opt to sit at the bar or on the patio and order from a limited food menu. The full bar drink offerings will be specifically designed to enhance the food menu, featuring craft beers, wine, and cocktails utilizing southeast Asian ingredients such as lemongrass, tamarind, lychee, and fresh herbs.

Revenue Streams

Most of Xin Chao’s revenue will come from food and beverage sales (with a very small percentage from merchandise sales), forecasted as follows:

  • 75% from food, 25% from beverages  
  • Average guest purchase is $25 in food, $10 in beverages/alcohol

The Atmosphere

The atmosphere and ambiance are critical parts of the Xin Chao concept, as the style of Vietnamese restaurants has undergone little evolution despite the popularity of this cuisine. It aims to create a curated dining experience from start to finish, with great attention to detail and a nod to Southern hospitality.

The 2,500-square-foot building allows for a large indoor dining space featuring soft lighting, contemporary decor, and mood-driven music. Xin Chao also has a large outdoor patio providing a casual environment, perfect for brunch or a nice, relaxing evening. The overall impression is modern and welcoming.

The Team

Xin Chao will be owned and operated by three partners: chefs Christine Ha and Tony J. Nguyen, and John Suh, the branding/marketing expert and operational support who is also a partner at The Blind Goat. This team has direct experience already operating other successful Vietnamese restaurants in Houston. In addition to their skills and experience, they also have large media exposure from television appearances, creating a substantial fan following and “celebrity chef” status. 

Back-of -house operations like supply sourcing, quality control, and service execution will primarily be handled by Chefs Tony and Christine—roles they are familiar with at their other restaurants. Both Christine Ha and John Suh also have a professional background in business administration, which they will use to help with budgeting, forecasting, and analyzing data to improve operations and ensure continued growth. Furthermore, John will use his experience in marketing and digital technology to get Houston diners excited about the opening of Xin Chao and turn them into loyal customers.

Location Analysis

Business Address: 2310 Decatur St, Houston, TX, 77007

Xin Chao will be located in the heart of the Sawyer Heights neighborhood in Houston, TX. This historic area has been in transition in recent years, undergoing a major revival. Plans for over 3,500 apartment units, hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail and mixed-use developments are in the works, expected to be realized in the next 1-2 years. Public transit rail may also be extended from downtown through Washington Ave.

The restaurant itself is located in a building with rich culinary history, previously home to the original Beaver’s location and more recently an incubator for bartenders and chefs. It features a fully equipped bar, large patio, and ample parking. 

Nearby residential neighborhoods like Houston Heights, Montrose, and Rice Military support the target demographics for Xin Chao: young professionals and families with disposable income. The location is also within a 5-minute drive of downtown, making it highly accessible for the weekday lunch crowd.


September 2012
Christine Ha wins season 3 of “MasterChef”
May 2013
Christine releases her cookbook, "Recipes from My Home Kitchen"
September 2015
Tony J. Nguyen starts Wokker TX Ranger food truck
March 2017
Tony opens Wokker at Craft Beer Cellar
November 2017
Tony partners with Saigon House
November 2018
Saigon House wins awards at The Gr8 Taco Challenge
May 2019
Tony purchases second restaurant for Saigon House FM 1960
July 2019
Christine opens The Blind Goat
October 2019
Tony releases his collaboration cookbook, “Houston Cooks”
March 2020
Projected opening of Saigon House FM 1960
May 2020
Projected opening of Xin Chao

Meet the Team

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Christine Ha
Co-Executive Chef and Partner

Winner of season 3 of the show MasterChef on FOX in 2012, Christine has gone on to publish a New York Times best-selling cookbook and open The Blind Goat in Houston to critical acclaim. Her background as a home cook gives her a unique perspective, honoring her roots in family recipes.

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Tony J. Nguyen
Co-Executive Chef and Partner

Tony has spent most of his culinary career developing Asian-inspired dishes through his work at Wokker Food Truck and currently as Executive Chef and Partner at Saigon House, an award-winning Vietnamese restaurant in Houston.

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John Suh
Marketing Director, Operational Manager, and Partner

John brings his extensive marketing and e-commerce experience to Xin Chao. His background in developing brand strategies for companies like Blinds.com and The Home Depot served him well in launching and driving exposure for The Blind Goat, in which he partnered with Christine to open in 2019. He will serve a similar role with Xin Chao, developing the marketing and content strategy for the team.

Bonus Rewards

Early Bird Reward
0 remaining
First 20 investors who invest $200 or more will receive:
  • Custom t-shirt for first 20 investors


  • $25 restaurant credit to be used anytime in the first year


  • Invitation for you and a guest to the NextSeed Investor Party
  • $25 restaurant credit to be used anytime in the first year


  • Invitation for you and a guest to the NextSeed Investor Party
  • $100 restaurant credit to be used anytime in the first year


  • Invitation for you and a guest to the NextSeed Investor Party
  • $100 restaurant credit to be used anytime in the first year
  • Receive 1 complimentary beverage per visit for 1 year


  • Invitation for you and a guest to the NextSeed Investor Party
  • $100 restaurant credit to be used anytime in the first year
  • Private chef dinner with Christine and Tony for a group of 6


  • Invitation for you and a guest to the NextSeed Investor Party
  • $100 restaurant credit to be used anytime in the first year
  • Receive 1 complimentary beverage per visit for 1 year
  • Private chef dinner with Christine and Tony for a group of 6

Bonus rewards are offered by the Issuer purely on a voluntary basis and do not influence the terms of the Offering. For the avoidance of doubt, the bonus rewards are not contractual conditions governed by the Note Purchase Agreement and are not enforceable under the Note Purchase Agreement.


Issuer Statement

The information contained on this campaign page (the "Campaign Information") is furnished solely by the Issuer to prospective investors in the investment opportunity described herein. All Campaign Information is intended to be a summary of the terms and information contained in the Disclosure Statement and the Note Purchase Agreement, and is fully qualified by reference to those documents. In the event any Campaign Information conflicts with the terms of the Disclosure Statement or Note Purchase Agreement, the terms of those documents will control. The Issuer has provided the Campaign Information for inclusion on the website located at www.nextseed.com, and in no way will the Campaign Information be deemed to have been created or provided by NextSeed Securities, LLC, NextSeed Services, LLC, or their affiliates.