Happening Now: Holy Fuku+ Are You Guys Serious???

This morning, Brian reported that David Chang opened a second location of his super popular ridiculous fried chicken sandwich East Village restaurant, Fuku, in Midtown North-Central. As expected, people are going ape over this. I put my prejudices aside to check out the line and the space.

Pictures, menu, details, all after my soul dies a little and after the jump.

Unsurprisingly, as you can see from the first picture, there’s a line out the door (the guy on the far left is the last person on line; I didn’t want to back any farther into the street for the photo). But not THAT far out the door – perhaps the weird and icky weather deterred some folks? There were two people handing out menus to those who were getting in line – the girl in the denim shirt on the left of the pic, and the guy standing by the lamp post. Both cheerily said, “Let me know if you have any questions!” when I took a menu.

Just for you, dear readers, I actually decided to risk getting nut-punched and/or elbowed in the face and went inside. Milk Bar is still business as usual along the right hand side when you walk in, but all along the left side the line continued right up to the hostess stand.

Above the stairs to Ma Peche

Facing the space from the entrance

Central standing room area

The bar

The menu in its entirety

Here’s what you need to know, all of which can change at any minute since they literally just opened today.

-there is no take out “but if you really just can’t finish your food, you can certainly take it with you”
-if you don’t have a reservation, you have to stand inside to eat; if you have a reservation, you are seated at one of the tables. At 1:15 when I took these pics, there was a totally empty 2-top to the left of the bar, and it didn’t appear anyone was going to be seated there, so you should definitely try to get reservations – if only so you can skip the line
-they are doing a good job with crowd control inside; as you can see from the pics, there isn’t a huge mobscene of people crowding the dining area fighting for food or space. I was easily able to maneuver around and snap pics, though people were curious as to what I was doing (though probably more trying to figure out who I am, since they probably all read the blogs)

As for the menu, I was able to get some descriptions from the girl giving out menus, who I believe came from their East Village location (she looks familiar).

What you need to know:
-the MiniMe Sandwich is their signature sandwich, but “slightly smaller, but not even that much smaller, it’s still big, haha!” – but the same fried chicken
-the Fuku+ Salad sounds like the salad they serve downtown, minus the farro (Mandarin oranges, kale, etc.)
-the ranch salad has buttermilk ranch dressing and housemade croutons with ‘everything bagel’ seasoning
-the oriental salad has chicken, but not fried, in it
-Fuku bites are just smaller/cut up chunks of the fried chicken, “like chicken nuggets I guess?” and the jd sauce is slightly spicy (Jack Daniels? TGIFriday’s style perhaps?)

If it’s in quotes, it’s what the menu girl told the guy standing behind me.

I waited in line for about 3 minutes before I decided to just take pics of the space instead (and come back to my desk to write about it for you), but guys…

The sandwich downtown is tasty. I will give you that. But Fuku itself didn’t have a line when I went (on a Saturday a few weeks after opening, around 12 or 12:30), and the sandwich is bigger there… for $2 more. Bigger sandwiches, still under $10, you ML’ers love that, right? I know, it’s not Midtown. Fine.

In any case, the line didn’t seem too insane around 1pm today, so hopefully it will even out and return to what a normal line to eat at Ma Peche might be. I’ll probably be back to check out the MiniMe *for the sake of this site* – but early adopters/those who waited in line, share your thoughts in comments!

Fuku+, 15 W. 56th St. (btw. 5+6th)


  • I went there at around 1:15. The line was just outside the door. It took around 30 mins to get in. There are almost no seats. Most people have to stand at a bar or table.

    I got the fried chicken sandwich and french fries. The chicken sandwich was appropriately fatty and greasy (Not too much and not too little). It was spicy and meaty, but not very large. The chicken part of the sandwich reminded me of the old spicy chicken sandwich at Clarkes Standard (RIP?) before they changed it to the bland monstrosity it became. The spice of the fuku sandwich is in the crust.

    The fries were similar cut to steak fries. They were perfectly fried and salted.

    The food came in to-go style wrappers that reminded me of All American on LI.

    It was a good meal other than the standing and fire alarms going off.

    People around me seemed to be ordering the fuku bites and the flatbread. I didn’t see any salads being eaten.

    This place is obviously worth the visit. The challenge for this location is that they are running three businesses out of one door (Ma Peche, Milk Bar, Fuku+) and it is a little crowded. They have to figure out crowd control. I hope to try the shrimp and chicken bites during future visits.

  • Excellent use of the term “nut-punched”

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    Got there around 12:50, and there was no outside line (they made me wait a few minutes outside until they let me on the inside queue). The guy handing out menus thought it would be a 45 minute wait, and it turned out to be about 35 minutes, so not too bad. Not worth it of course, except for the social cachet of being ‘first’. But I’ll go back once the hype dies down for sure. fuku bites tasted like the chicken from the sandwich I had at the downtown location (but with less spice), fries are exactly the same. JD sauce is decidedly not fast casual-style nor has anything to do with Jack Daniels — JD, I was told, is the initials of one of the bartenders there. It’s a spicy habanero dipping sauce.

    • Thanks domi! I saw a pic a few minutes ago and was even more curious since it was green; I spent too many teen years at TGIFriday’s I guess.

    • Anyone who thinks waiting 35 minutes for lunch is not too bad needs to be nut-punched

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