Feb 2016

Fuku – New York City

Fuku - New York City

I was hoping to have this published on Monday, in time for Tết, because Vietnamese folks believe that everything that happens on the first day of the New Year continues for the rest of the year. Well, it’s Friday, which means that my wish for a little New Year’s luck to keep me publishing more frequently didn’t quite pan out. There goes the Year of the Monkey…

And now to the subject at hand: Fuku, Chef David Chang’s fast-casual fried chicken sandwich shop in the original Momofuku Noodle Bar space.

Fuku - New York City

For $8, I received a big ‘ol slab of boneless fried chicken served between a squashed and wrinkly bun slathered with “Fuku butter” and dotted with pickles. The habanero-kissed batter was as crispy and spicy as hoped, while the meat of the matter was moist enough but not especially juicy.

Fuku - New York City

To further dress the sandwich there was “Ssam Sauce,” essentially thinned-out Korean chili paste (gochujang), as well as ketchup. I preferred the latter’s tangy goodness over the former’s sweet heat.

Fuku - New York City

Even better than the sandwich was the Fuku Salad ($3), a tasty collection of farro, greens, mandarin oranges, and white and black sesame seeds served with a citrus and sesame oil Asian-style dressing. It was a fresh and light complement to the hefty chicken sandwich.

Overall, Fuku’s chicken sandwich was perfectly nice, but not a must-have on my next trip to New York like the doughnuts at Dough or the smoked fishes at Russ and Daughters. Still, chef-driven fast-casual restaurants are one of my favorite current food trends, because good food at lower prices is an easy win-win.

163 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10003

Take a bite outta the Big Apple:

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