The combination of microstructured surface and microchannel flow boiling is expected to solve the thermal management problems of high-heat-flux devices. In this study, the experimental investigation of subcooled flow boiling in a high aspect ratio, one-sided heating rectangular microchannel was conducted with de-ionized water as the working fluid. ZnO microrods were synthesized on the titanium surface to be used as the heated surface compared with the bare titanium surface. A facile image tool is utilized to process the flow patterns photographed by a high-speed camera, which is analyzed with the heat transfer characteristics. The flow pattern of isolated bubbly flow reveals the large number of nucleation sites formed on the microrod surface but the heat transfer performance deteriorates with increasing mass flux because of the smaller bubble area and weaker nucleation. With increasing heat flux, the flow pattern changes from isolated bubbly flow to alternating bubbly/slug flow and alternating slug/annular flow. The latter flow pattern is confirmed to bring a higher heat transfer coefficient due to the larger area of thin-film evaporation. Compared with the bare surface, a higher heat transfer coefficient is achieved on the ZnO microrod surface for up to 37% due to the more nucleate sites and strengthened convective evaporation. Therefore, this surface might be suitable for heat dissipation in the watercraft or aerospace industry considering the low density, strong intensity, and corrosion resistance of titanium.