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Hunters Point Welcomes Its First Vietnamese Restaurant

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | August 27, 2012 12:13pm

QUEENS — Hunters Point is about to get more delicious.

The sisters who own the uber-popular Thai restaurant TUK TUK, have just opened the neighborhood's first Vietnamese eatery, offering delicacies from the country and focusing on sandwiches and noodle soups.

In fact Cyclo, named after the three-wheeled taxis used in Vietnam, was so popular that it ran out of food for a few hours three days after opening on Aug. 17.

“We didn’t expect so many people,” said owner Aw Suwanno, 36.

She and her sister said they decided to open a Vietnamese restaurant because they both like the cuisine and saw a need for it in the neighborhood.

“People just love sandwiches,” said Suwanno. "And if you want to get good Vietnamese sandwiches, you have to go to Chinatown or Elmhurst."

Her sister, Pentip Mulkern, 42, noted that many ingredients used in Vietnamese cuisine are very similar to those used in Thai food. They were also trained by a former chef from TUK TUK, who is Vietnamese.

After coming to the US from Thailand several years ago, the sisters settled in Jackson Heights.

In 2005 they wanted to open their first restaurant and decided Hunters Point would be the best location, which had very few culinary options at that point.

“At that time there were two other restaurants in this neighborhood and the entire area looked very different,” said Mulkern. “Since then many people moved to Hunters Point and we think our new restaurant is a nice addition to the neighborhood.”

Cyclo's name is an homage to TUK TUK, which is named after the popular three-wheeled taxis used in Bangkok.

Among the most popular dishes on the menu are Banh Mi (traditional Vietnamese sandwich, served with pickled daikon, cilantro, cucumbers, carrots and soy sauce) and Bo Luc Lac (marinated cubed sirloin beef, wok-tossed with oyster sauce and black pepper).

Customers can also choose from a variety of noodle soups (pho) and salads, spring rolls and clay pot rice dishes, and enjoy their food while sipping bubble milk tea or oolong.

The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Most sandwiches cost $8 and a small noodle soup is $6. Lunch special which includes sandwich and soup costs $6.50.

CYCLO is located at 5-51 47th Avenue, just off Vernon Blvd., in Hunters Point, NY, 11101.