David Chang is on fire again.  He sent shock waves throughout the NYC food world in June when he suddenly opened his most casual concept yet:  Fuku.  At the core of the menu is the Fuku Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich

Like Martha Stewart’s timely investment decisions, the Chang empire seems to have opened a fast food-style fried chicken concept just as the entire world decided fried chicken sandwiches were the latest craze.   Not only are many of the national chains refreshing their fried chicken offerings, but there is also a fried chicken sandwich explosion happening in NYC.  Fuku joins Shake Shack and NYC BBQ favorite Mighty Quinn’s to offer buzz worthy options.


The Ingredients

  • Fried Chicken
  • Pickles
  • Martin’s Potato roll

Now that ingredient list on paper seems as standard as they come, and even one-for-one in line with the list for the classic Chick-Fil-A sandwich.  However, the ingredients receive a bit of the David Chang special touch.  First, and most importantly, the cut of chicken used is thigh–thats right dark meat.  Already breaking the mold from the traditional fried chicken sandwich.  It doesn’t stop there.  These thighs don’t just receive the standard buttermilk marinating treatment, no thats much too pedestrian.  We get meat soaked in habanero puree and buttermilk before being dredged in a well seasoned and spiced batter.

Then we have the vehicle to transport chicken and pickles to mouth:  The Martin’s Potato roll.  I wish I invested in Martin’s as they seem to be taking over.  Its the roll of choice for Shake Shack, and was even used in their latest ChickenShack sandwich.  Chang won’t just butter it with butter though, we get fermented chickpea flavored butter.  You might be thinking, “Ok, now that sounds like a bit of a gimmick”–it is.   I would never have noticed if I didn’t read that in the press release.

First Impressions

You may have noticed above that I said the use of chicken thighs is the most ingredient choice.  This is because it really differentiates this from other fast food-style fried chicken sandwiches.  The extremely over sized piece of chicken for the squishy roll hangs off considerably.  Its a great portion of chicken, and it should be because the sandwich alone is $8.  The thigh meat is very flavorful and juicy–even greasy in exactly the way you want fried chicken to be.

This thing is greasy but no sog in sight

The exterior is crusty and the batter is very flavorful.  You get a few notes of spiciness coming from both the chicken and also the breading.  The spice level is certainly not too spicy unless you’re someone that doesn’t like spicy food at all.  The important thing here is that the batter holds up well to the greasiness of the chicken inside.  Almost like a crust protecting the bun from the juicy chicken middle.  It manages to avoid getting completely soggy and gross through the entire experience.  Fuku fully embraces the grease factor and provide a moist nap in every bag so you don’t grease up the subway poles (even more than they already are) on your way home.


Fuku Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich – The Verdict:


This is definitely a top notch chicken sandwich and a welcome addition to the increasingly crowded field.  To evaluate buzz-y New York food craze items, one needs to add qualifiers:  lots of “for the price” and “if it wasn’t for the price” and “for the wait” and “if there wasn’t a wait.”  The same applies here.

As long as there’s not a long wait, its worth it

IF you are in New York and want to see for yourself, go for it.  Its definitely really good as long as the line is not down the street.  “For the price” its a bit of a reach, I would object less if it was even a dollar less at $7.  $8 gets you a sandwich and a tiny plastic cup of NYC tap water.  The tasty well-flavored crusty breading and super moist chicken are a winner for sure.  I look forward to my next one.

Side note, the food world moves fast.  Since opening Fuku in June in the East Village neighborhood of New York City, David Chang has opened Fuku+ in Midtown.  Fuku+ caries over a “mini” version of the Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich, chicken fingers, and a pork flat bread with my name all over it.  Look for coverage on Fuku+ as long as the lines aren’t down the street (spoiler alert: They are…)

David Chang's Fuku Spicy Chicken Sandwich Review
FlavorfulJuice MeatLarge piece of Chicken
8.5Overall Score
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