Incredibly Cheap Eats--Squid Balls and Black Rice Cake

Left: Black rice cake, Right: Fried squid balls

Quickly, the shabu-shabu/bubble tea mash-up, has added new branch at 11 Pell Street; other locations are on Grand Street and in Flushing. At the Quickly on Grand yesterday, there was a list of newly added snacks, including fried black rice cake and squid balls, both of which were $2.99 for about six generous pieces.

After a short wait, the two little bags of fried stuff arrived, with skewers to spear up bites. Each piece had been dredged in extra-spicy "sauce," which turned out to be chile powder. You can choose among mild, medium and extra-spicy--we chose extra-spicy and thought it perfect. Don't let the powder fly into your eye, because let us tell you, that is no fun. The dense squid balls were mildly squid-ish, craggy on the outside and steamy-bouncy on the inside. But we liked the black rice cake best, each one a neatly compressed, crisp-edged rectangle of nutty black rice--with the spicy seasoning, delicious.

237B Grand Street, 212-431-0998

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