David Chang, of Momofuku fame, has opened a new restaurant at the Noodle Bar’s original East Village location. The new spot, called Fuku, currently has one entree offering, an $8 spicy chicken sandwich. The sandwich will be made of chicken thighs marinated in habanero purée, coated in buttermilk, dredged in a spice blend, and deep-fried. The bun is a steamed Martin’s potato roll with pickles and fermented-chickpea-flavored butter.
The idea behind Fuku is not a new one; Danny Meyer has found incredible success with his Shake Shack franchise. But calling the restaurant “fast food” feels more hollow than a McFlurry spoon. The problem is the glorification of food that is meant to be a personal indulgence. No amount of hand-crafted ingredients can change that a fried chicken sandwich will be bad for you. Plus, the $8 price tag and the expected 900-hour-wait line defeat the core values of fast food as a quick bargain. Fuku further fetishizes food that is neither good for you, nor easy to attain.