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David Chang’s Maple Begins Delivery to East Village and LES

Screen-Shot-2015-10-19-at-2.09.01-PM-280x182Back when David Chang’s delivery service, Maple, came to Greenwich Village and the West Village, we noted that the LES and East Village were prime candidates for the next phase of expansion. That moment is now upon us: the service, which delivers daily specials made in a commissary kitchen rather than a restaurant, will be available everywhere below 14th Street starting tomorrow.

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Fuku Starts Delivering, Immediately Breaks Caviar

(Photo: Caviar)

(Photo: Caviar)

We thought today’s expansion of Maple would be the most exciting delivery news in David Chang’s world (anyone who orders lunch or dinner gets one of Christina Tosi’s “Sugar Shack” cookies, gratis), but an email from Caviar managed to steal its thunder. The haute delivery service is now dispatching Fuku’s spicy fried chicken sandwich and other items from Chang’s budding fast casual chain. But much as there was a line down the block when Fuku first opened in the East Village in June, it proved hard to get our hands on some Fuku fingers this morning.

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Photos: Fukuheads Lined Up For the Opening of David Chang’s Fried Chicken Joint

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Call us intrepid reporters: we waited in line for 40 minutes today for a first taste of Fuku, the spicy fried chicken joint David Chang just opened in the former Momofuku Ko space at 163 First Avenue, near East 10th Street. The budding chain specializes in one thing: a crunchy, tender, magical chicken sandwich that comes on a steamed potato-bread bun with a fermented-chickpea butter spread, pickles and accompanying hot sauce. The room is a tight squeeze (hence the line twisting out the doorway and around the block this afternoon). But we managed to speak to some customers (all intense David Chang fans). Click through the slideshow to see what they had to say before and after (sometimes during) their first bites. Fuku is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 11am to 4pm.

Catharina Kahl (left):

Catharina Kahl (left): "She took me to Momofuku and Milk Bar. It was really delicious and then she gave me this bag, with their logo. It’s just, like, the best-sized bag ever.”

Gabriela Tiffany (right): "I’m not doing anything today, this is the highlight of my day."

Faridah Sharif (with Hasib Hossain and Adam Cohm):

Faridah Sharif (with Hasib Hossain and Adam Cohm): "I saw that it was opening today and it’s actually one of my last weeks in New York City. I wanted to have a new experience and this has definitely lived up to the hype. I feel like this is a high-end Chick-fil-A where the chicken is perfectly done. It’s a really good cut of meat, really well prepared, obviously marinated and obviously fried with love."

Hasib Hossain: "I think it’s pretty excellent, man. I love the chicken sandwich. Honestly, I like the fries with the sauce more than the sauce with the sandwich."

Adam Cohm: "I think it’s like the Wendy’s spiced chicken sandwich on steroids and on PEDs and on everything else you can imagine. It’s the Barry Bonds and A-Rods of chicken sandwiches."

Caroline Osse:

Caroline Osse: "We definitely intentionally came here. We’re big fans of all of his [David Chang's] restaurants and we’re foodies."

Guido Ditto: "They chose a chicken sandwich probably because the baos [pork buns] at the other places were doing really well."

How long would Alex Vitetta, pharmaceutical rep, wait in line for?  “About an hour.”

How long would Alex Vitetta, pharmaceutical rep, wait in line for? “About an hour.”

David Carter: “He [David Chang] pushes things. I like all his restaurant concepts. I did the fried chicken dinner once at Ko, it was cool and always interested to see what he’s going to come up with next.

David Carter: “He [David Chang] pushes things. I like all his restaurant concepts. I did the fried chicken dinner once at Ko, it was cool and always interested to see what he’s going to come up with next."

Tanner Glaves: “I like David Chang's food because it’s familiar yet innovative, which I think a chicken sandwich lends itself to, so I’m interested to see how they innovate.”

Tanner Glaves: “I like David Chang's food because it’s familiar yet innovative, which I think a chicken sandwich lends itself to, so I’m interested to see how they innovate.”

Fuku's menu (photo: Rob Scher)

Fuku's menu (photo: Rob Scher)

Prepping the spicy chicken sandwiches (photo: Rob Scher)

Prepping the spicy chicken sandwiches (photo: Rob Scher)

Fuku's spicy chicken sandwich.

Fuku's spicy chicken sandwich.