Another unveiling of altered identities this week — here’s the Caitlyn Jenner of the restaurant industry.
David Chang, the mastermind behind Momofuku, Inc. is finally unveiling Fuku. After six, intense months of development, the original, 600-square-foot East Village location of Momofuku Ko just opened as a sandwich shop. Chang hopes Fuku will serve as the prototype for his own fast-food brand, serving up a signature spicy-fried-chicken sandwich ($8). Chang was inspired by both Chick-fil-A, which he grew up eating in suburban Virginia, and In-N-Out Burger.
He describes Fuku as, “our attempt to… honor the great fried-chicken places and fast-food concepts out there, to do our version of that, and hopefully, to make it better.”
Chang says he wants to start small, but eventually branch into takeout and delivery, always being mindful of the original concept. He believes he’s developed the perfect recipe for a pretty perfect chicken sandwich. In a bath of buttermilk and habanero purée, the sustainably-sourced chicken thighs marinade before being dredged in a spice blend and deep-fried. They’re placed inside a steamed Martin’s potato roll with pickles and butter, which is mixed with fermented-chickpea flavor (trust us, it’s a very good thing). Chang won’t reveal the cooking method — can’t give away all his secrets — but he’s confident in creating a very juicy, crispy sandwich.
The menu will include fries and seasonal veggie salad (“the healthy option” Chang doesn’t anticipate anyone ordering), and — get this — Fuku has a liquor license. So a beer to wash down that spicy chicken sandwich is a definite possibility. Which is good consider that, while he hopes for Fuku to be your cheat meal go-to, he won’t negotiate on the spice level. Which, as a spice lover myself, I’m quite content with.
Steph is a native New Yorker with a love of culture, creativity, and communications. She’s a foodie, nutrition junkie, yogi, wine-lover, bookworm, world traveler, style-addict, and people person. She also runs her event planning company, Orchard + Broome.