Serving more than just authentic Vietnamese fare
Food is at the very heart of Vietnamese culture and it’s not simply associated with a comfort bowl of pho and spring rolls.
Cyclo is one of the few Vietnamese restaurants on a mission to show the abundance of Vietnamese delicacies rarely found in Shanghai, as well as giving diners a taste of Laos and Cambodia.
The husband and wife team, Quang Minh (French/Vietnamese mix) and Nguyen Tu Anh (Vietnamese native), opened Cyclo inside Found 158 on Julu Road as one of its first tenants and dedicated themselves to serving freshly-prepared, authentic dishes dear to them.
The space may be better known for late night drinks and music but don’t overlook their food. The menu is extensive and diners will discover every signature Vietnamese dish and beyond in their various forms.
Banh Cuon is a good appetizer to start with. The steamed rice rolls are thin sheets of steamed rice batter filled with ground pork and minced mushrooms.
The rice rolls get a glaze of scallion oil and a sprinkle of crispy fried shallots. For those who want to taste different Vietnamese spring rolls, try the appetizer mixed plate that is good for sharing.
The selection of salads, all accompanied with abundant herbs and fresh ingredients, are great picks for the hot season.
I chose Lark Moo Laotian chicken salad. Like the food in Vietnam, fresh ingredients are crucial in Laotian cuisine.
The minced chicken salad recipe is beautifully complemented by the combination of fish sauce, lime juice, shallots, and other herbs and spices, which offer a subtle balance of salty, sour and spicy flavors.
Among the many tempting seafood main dishes, I picked BBQ Tilapia fish with spicy chili. The grilled fish comes beautifully with rice papers, fresh greens, sliced cucumbers and pineapples. The fish itself was marinated for a long time with a mixture of herbs and spices then grilled to get a crispy skin that is imbued with light smoke.
The staff taught me how to use a piece of rice paper and wrap the veggie, cucumber and pineapple together with fish meat — the combination of flavors was sophisticated and flavorful.
Foodies shouldn’t miss out on the Vietnamese noodle soups at Cyclo. They have a wide variety of recipes from the country.
Try the delicious crab soup— an orange-colored thick Vietnamese noodle soup that consists of tapioca noodles, shrimp and crab meat.
Opening hours: 6pm-midnight (Monday);
11am-3pm, 6pm-2am (Tuesday to Thursday);
11:am-3pm, 6pm-3am (Friday); 11am-3am (weekends)
Address: B1, 158 Julu Rd.
Average price: 160 yuan