Four Vietnamese partners will open a full-service restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids this spring.
Phong Nguyen, Tai Nguyen, Kevin Nguyen and Thuan Truong, co-owners of Vietbrothers Restaurant LLC, are planning to open Monsoon Vietnamese Cuisine at 55 Monroe Center St. NW in Grand Rapids. If the remodeling timeline goes according to plan, they hope to open the restaurant in May.
“We are all Vietnamese and consider each other like brothers and want to bring Vietnamese cuisine to the downtown Grand Rapids area,” Phong Nguyen said. “Our country is famous for pho and banh mi sandwiches, but we want to bring more than that to Monsoon. Monsoon will showcase the flavor and depth of Vietnamese cuisine. Customers will be delighted with an entertaining view through our open kitchen, (and) our interior design will have a modern Vietnamese look through furniture, decor and artwork.”
The restaurant’s menu will include a traditional northside pho style, which is a beef noodle soup with a bone marrow base that cooks for 24 hours. Monsoon also will offer a variety of dishes grilled over charcoal flames, including Bun Thit Nuong Hanoi (grilled pork vermicelli noodles, a dish President Barack Obama and Chef Anthony Bourdain sampled on a visit to Vietnam in 2016); Bo Nuong Sate (marinated Wagyu beef steak with sate seasoning); Suong Heo Nuong (marinated Tomahawk pork chop); and other dishes.
Phong Nguyen will be the executive chef at Monsoon. He has experience working at multiple restaurants, such as Noto’s Old World Italian Dining and Rockwell Republic in Grand Rapids. When COVID-19 hit, he started a private chef business to offer safe dining experiences at home. He served six- to seven-course Italian, Thai and Vietnamese meals for his customers in the comfort of their own homes, and he also offered catering services for bachelor parties, birthday parties, karaoke nights, anniversaries and company events.
Monsoon Vietnamese Cuisine will have seating for 45 guests inside and 20 seats for outdoor diners.
The restaurant plans to begin hiring closer to the opening date. More information will be posted on Facebook.