Iconic Hand Rolls, which popped up in the East Village a few months ago, has been on my radar since I read about them in Eater. I’m a sucker for fast food restaurants that prepare your food in front of you with the possibility of customization. That is exactly what Iconic is – a Japanese version of Chipotle. They have a small menu of about 9 hand rolls and a handful of sides. The hand rolls range from sushi to vegetarian, which is a wide selection. Prices range from $6.50 (most expensive) to $4.50 (least expensive), which isn’t too pricey.
You order at the counter, where a worker stands behind an array of ingredients. Once you give them your order, they start rolling away – first by adding rice onto seaweed, then adding your selected ingredients and then rolling them. Each hand roll is then placed into a thin bamboo sleeve to make sure you don’t drop anything. I thought the sleeves were a nice touch since it helped make eating the hand rolls a lot easier.
I decided to go with the Spicy Salmon ($5.50), which features uncooked salmon, shiso leaves (a minty Japanese plant) and spicy mayo. The salmon was very fresh and the spicy mayo really gave it kick. The rice was nicely seasoned and was slightly warm since it was just taken out of the pot. The only complaint I had was with the seaweed, which was a bit stale. The seaweed didn’t have the nice crunch that hand rolls should have, but it wasn’t a deal breaker. Overall, the roll was still very fresh and very tasty.
I also picked their Coconut Shrimp Hand Roll ($6.00), which features asparagus, cilantro and masago aoli with two pieces of coconut shrimp. The shrimp was warm and crunchy, which was a nice touch. The shrimp had a faint coconut flavor, which did not overpower the shrimp at all. Very tasty! Despite the fact that I am not an asparagus fan, I quickly gobbled up this hand roll.
I thoroughly enjoyed my short time at Iconic. The service was quick and courteous. I ordered and was handed my rolls within 10 minutes. I like that I can watch my rolls made by hand so I know for sure that they’re fresh. Although not enough to fill me up completely, these rolls make a great snack if you’re a bit hungry and dinner is far off in the distance.
Quick Tip: Scoutmob currently has a deal for 50% off your order here with a max discount of $10 so hurry up and give them a try!