When French-Vietnamese father and son team Quang Minh and Lee Lam opened Cyclo in 2014, it was to the delight of all pho lovers in Shanghai. Tired of not being able to find authentic Vietnamese food, they did something about it. And now, they're adding Cambodian and Lao flavors to the mix, expanding the menu, and business model, at their second location in the new Found 158.
Joining the likes of Homeslice Pizza, Hooked and a large handful of F&B heavy hitters in the underground plaza once known as Datong Mill, Found 158 is quickly becoming the long anticipated “new Yongkang Lu”—only, with a different vibe. Think spiral staircases leading to the street level, Roman columns and a larger selection of quality restaurants—like Cyclo 2.
Already fans of Cyclo’s Vietnamese dishes, we sampled more Lao and Cambodian offerings. But first, we had to order the famous Vietnamese Mix Plate Appetizer—a small (RMB128) or large (RMB218) plate of fresh and fried shrimp and pork spring rolls, fresh vegetarian spring rolls, sugarcane shrimp paste skewers and some of the best fish cakes in the city.
There are three new salad items on the menu, including the delicious Fried Fish Sweet & Sour (RMB65). With a generous amount of fresh mint leaves and kumquat juice, it’s both refreshing and flavorful.
The Cambodian Beef Salad (RMB75) also packs a punch in the flavor department, combining thinly sliced lemongrass with shallots, long beans, chili peppers, basil, mint and rice powder.
Those with a hankering for Cambodian cuisine will take pleasure in ordering the Amok Fish Curry (RMB70). Revered as the country’s national dish, Cyclo does a pretty good job recreating the creamy, mild yellow curry. True aficionados, however, may be disappointed that it comes in a bowl and not steamed in banana leaves.
Another seafood option we recommend: Fried Cod Fish with Garlic & Pepper (RMB98/small, RMB188/large). Perfectly seared yet flaky and buttery, it’s something we personally plan on eating again.
For sharing, the Spicy Salt BBQ Sticks (RMB48 small, RMB70 large) is a good way to go. Choose between tender, liberally seasoned chicken or pork skewers, layered with bell peppers and onions.
The dessert menu is still a work in progress, with promises of homemade ice cream (including some interesting-slash-delicious options like Vietnamese coffee) on the horizon. Stuffed, we went with the simple, yet classic Mango with Tapioca and Coconut (RMB40), and weren’t disappointed.
Considering Cyclo 2 is the only restaurant in town serving Cambodian and Lao food at the moment, they have the market cornered. But they’re not taking any shortcuts. Every dish is prepared and plated with finesse, and every sauce made from scratch. Add the fact they’re in the up-and-coming Found 158, and we predict big business for Cyclo’s second venture. We’re also betting on some pretty long queues for the Vietnamese coffee ice cream come summer.
Our Rating: 4/5 Stars
What: Cyclo 2
Address: 158 Julu Lu (near Ruijin Yi Lu) 巨鹿路158号 (近瑞金一路)
Dining Week reservations for Cyclo will end on June 10th, click here to make a booking now.
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