NYC: A-Roll – Chinese Street Food & Late Night Snacks

NYC: A-Roll - Chinese Street Food & Late Night  Snacks

I was invited as a guest by A-Roll, and I did not pay for the food and drinks myself. However, all opinions and experiences shared in this post are my own and reflect my honest impressions.

A-Roll is a Chinese chain that recently opened its first branch in Manhattan at St. Marks Place. The restaurant specializes in late-night skewers and the extensive menu stays authentic to the flavors of Chinese street food without trying too hard to cater to Western tastebuds.

There are a lot of different skewers on the menu, so I asked the staff for suggestions. They told me that the Chicken Feet are the most popular item on the menu, so even though I’ve had chicken feet before, and realized that they’re an acquired taste that I haven’t yet managed to acquire, I decided to give the ones at A-roll a try.

The chicken feet weren’t as bad as I remembered. I liked the sticky marinade and the seasoning a lot, and they had some soft, fatty parts, which were tasty. Would I order them again? Maybe.

The same goes for the pig’s foot, which was another recommended item from the staff. The seasoning was really nice, and it had more meaty parts than the chicken feet. I could imagine it would be great as a beer snack, as it was rather salty, but I didn’t had beer that night, but a Chinese herbal drink, which wasn’t the best match for the foot.

The grilled squid was delicious and the fried noodles were also just as tasty as you would expect them to be at a Chinese restaurant. For dessert, I had fried milk, which was a first for me, but which is in fact a traditional Cantonese dessert that has recently been trending overseas as well. It’s a kind of milk pudding, coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried until golden and crispy on the outside. If you haven’t tried fried milk, make sure that you order it at A-roll.

Even though A-roll is a restaurant, it feels more like a bar. The music is loud, there are neon lights and playful decor, and a special offer on draft beer. I was there early on a weeknight, so it wasn’t as busy as I would imagine it would be on a Friday or a Saturday night, but I would say about half of the tables were occupied, when I left, which isn’t bad for a new place on a weeknight. A good place for a casual night out and a great opportunity to try some surprisingly authentic Chinese food.

A-roll, 5 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

Aroll

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