Flowers of Vietnam

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Flowers of Vietnam is one of the most talked about restaurants in Detroit these days. It’s been high on my to-try list and Danny surprised me with reservations for Mother’s Day. I went in with high expectations and from start to finish it didn’t disappoint.

Going in I knew I wanted the caramel chicken wings and it is definitely the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. It’s flavor is unique, the sauce is delicious and we seriously considered ordering some to take with us (and eat in the car on the way home).

We kept our order simple with fried rice (Gỏi ngũ sắc)and it was delicious but we seriously could have ordered anything on the menu because everything that came out of the kitchen looked amazing.

I ended our meal with Vietnamese coffee ( Cà Phê Trung). I was nervous because it has raw egg but it was great and the flaky cookie was like nothing I’ve had before.

Flowers of Vietnam opened last year and was so popular that it closed for a few months to expand. Unlike most of the hot restaurants in Detroit, it’s not in the Renaissance Zone – it’s located on Vernor Highway by Clark Park in Southwest Detroit. It has a new neighbor in PizzaPlex and it looks like something else might be coming next door but there is not a lot of development in the surrounding buildings.

The fact that so many people are going off the beaten path to check out Flowers reminds me of Slows a decade ago. The corner of Michigan and 14th is always busy these days and there are new restaurants, shops and residents coming to Corktown at all times but a few years ago it was only Slows. I foresee Flowers of Vietnam being a similar catalyst in its own neighborhood.

One of the things I really liked about Flowers of Vietnam is that it felt like a neighborhood restaurant. It looks beautiful, creative and chic but it’s has its own look. I didn’t interview the staff so I don’t know where they were from but they seemed like they were from the neighborhood more than from the flock of New Detroit. I love New Detroit (sans endless traffic, long waits and no parking) but after spending a couple years in Southwest for work I know that is a strong, vibrant neighborhood and I hope that it blooms, rather than get overshadowed by newcomers.

My other favorite thing about Flowers was the music. It was hip hop and R&B jams from my childhood, not usually what you hear in a restaurant and I loved it.

I don’t know when I last wrote so much about a restaurant but Flowers of Vietnam is worth it. Find some friends and make reservations, it wasn’t too busy for a 6pm dinner on Sunday. Order a few things off the menu – it’s shareable plates – and enjoy!

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BAMF shirt an awesome gift from Kat ❤ – gotta celebrate the ladies on Mother’s Day.


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