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Asian Noodle Soups with Chowdown Detroit

March 30, 2017

In Search of Asian Noodle Soups

By Seoung Lee, of Chowdown Detroit


Follow Seoung Lee’s food adventures on Chow Down Detroit at instagram.com/chowdowndetroit.

For many years, I had the hardest time finding great Asian noodle soups. However, there’s been a big boom in Asian cuisine in Metro Detroit, and these restaurants deliver incredible meals to fulfill my cravings.

Madison Heights is the unofficial Vietnamese town of Metro Detroit. It’s one of my favorite cities for a great meal — so many Vietnamese restaurants, bakeries and markets in a small radius — it’s easy to find amazing places to eat.

Saigon Diamond’s rare beef pho and a la carte pork chop.

A few of my favorites are Que Huong, Pho Hang and Saigon Diamond. I frequent Saigon Diamond the most for many reasons. It has excellent service, great food and a spacious dining area. It’s a family business owned by Quy Mai, Henry Mai and Denise Mai. The Mai family really cares about their quality and service, and it shows. At Saigon Diamond, my go-to dishes are rare beef pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) and the $3 Vietnamese a la carte pork chop. It’s an excellent combo I get every time I visit Saigon Diamond. The most important ingredient of a great pho is the broth, and they deliver!

Saigon Diamond’s rare beef pho. 

In Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, there’s Johnny Noodle King, Katoi (now closed after a fire) and Ima for great Asian noodle soups. Ima is the newest Asian restaurant of the bunch, and it delivers excellent Japanese cuisine. This noodle house is owned by Chef Michael Ransom, who has deep love for Asian cuisine.

Ima in Corktown. 

I recently tasted Chef Mike’s amazing meals, and I was highly impressed. I tried the Forest Udon, Japanese Curry and Spicy Pork Udon. Everything I had was flavorful and made with great attention to detail. Forest Udon is actually vegan, and it’s very tough to make a great vegetarian or vegan broth. However, this vegan broth had complex flavors; I did not miss the beef or chicken broth at all.

Asian noodle soups at Ima. 

There was a time when I had to drive to Ann Arbor to curb my Asian noodle soup craving. Now those days are gone because I have so many great places to choose from in Metro Detroit. NS

Saigon Diamond

31075 John R Road,
Madison Heights

(248) 591-4941



2015 Michigan Ave., Corktown

(313) 502-5959




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