Restaurant mogul David Chang is well known for fine dining, like the $35 entrees at his new Asian-Italian restaurant Nishi. But if you’d like to get a taste of Chang’s food without breaking the bank, just head a few blocks east of Washington Square.
Fuku, located at 163 First Ave., is Chang’s attempt to improve on the Chick-fil-A sandwiches he grew up with in Virginia. The simple menu consists of only three items: their spicy chicken sandwich, fuku salad and a side of fries.
What sets Chang’s sandwich visually apart from the standard fried chicken sandwich is the nearly 3-to-1 bun to chicken ratio. The dark-meat chicken, flavored with chili and garlic, is surrounded by a incredibly thin, crispy crust. The meat sticks out from between a buttery, golden-yellow bun with a chewy softness that compliments the crispy chicken. To up the heat even more, add Ssäm sauce, Fuku’s Korean chili sauce.
At the bottom of the menu, “No substitutions or special requests” is clearly written in bold block letters. However, if you want to mix things up a bit, order the off-menu “Koreano,” which adds daikon radish to your sandwich for just a dollar more. The pickled radish adds a refreshing, tangy crunch and a nice contrast to the rest of the sandwich.
Fuku’s fries are thick potato wedges showered with just the right amount of seasoning and brings a slight cajun spice to the mix. Crispy on the outside but with mashed-potato levels of fluffiness on the inside, these $3 fries alone are enough reason to stop by on the way home from class. Pass on the fuku salad and head straight for the sandwich and fries instead.
Unless you opt for delivery, the restaurant only has standing area available for those who want to dine in and its orders are all packaged in paper bag wrapping regardless, so it is a good option for students who are on the go, and on a budget. With a combo that includes the sandwich, fries, and a drink at $12 for lunch and $15 for dinner, Fuku offers a more accessible option for NYU students who want to get a taste of Momofuku while still watching their wallets.
Email Tiffanie Hwang at [email protected]