It's funny how each season a new food fad takes over the city. Of course there was the cupcake, the Cronut, everything made with ramps, then everything made with kale...and now we've entered the Fried Chicken sandwich explosion. I believe it started with Danny Meyers creation at Shake Shack but now Delaney BBQ, Mighty Quinn and the always amazing David Chang have all jumped on board with their own version.
Fuku, located inside the former Ko space in the East Village, isn't much more than a counter with a small menu of food and drink and one communal area for dining. I showed up for a late lunch Friday afternoon, hoping to avoid the crowds, but found a line outside the door. Luckily their service was surprisingly efficient and I was able to place my order within about 15 minutes.
Here's the sandwich breakdown- chicken thigh marinated in habanero puree, then coated with buttermilk and dredged through a blend of spices. Then it's into the fryer and placed on a potato roll with pickles and a swipe of butter.
As you can see this sandwich is HUGE. The chicken overlaps the bun from every angle and the first few bites are kind of a mess. However once you get past that it's pretty awesome; the spices are on point, the outside stayed crisp and I could seriously slather that ssam sauce on everything.
However since it's chicken thigh there's both dark and white meat with strange pockets of fat in between. This made a few bites incredibly off putting for a texture freak like me.
I ended up getting a free order of Potato Wedges because my order took so long which was nice. Plump and crunchy with tons of spicy salt on top; these are a potato wedge fan's dream.
Fuku just expanded to midtown at 56th and 5th with a larger menu including Sichuan Pork Flatbread and Mission Chinese Fuku Fingers.
163 1st Avenue between 10th & 11th Street
New York, NY 10003