October 19, 2018
David Chang’s Fried Chicken Joint Debuts in Boston’s Seaport District This Weekend
Boston’s rapidly developing Seaport District, full of glitzy new high-rises, has proven a desirable expansion target for big out-of-town chains. On the full-service end, there’s a trio of fancy steak-and-seafood destinations, for example — Ocean Prime, Mastro’s, Del Frisco’s. On the fast-casual side, vegan powerhouse By Chloe, lobster roll hotspot Luke’s Lobster, salad-slinger Sweetgreen, burger joint Shake Shack, and ever-expanding coffeehouse chain Caffe Nero have set up shop, to name a few.
The newest addition to the neighborhood opens Saturday, October 20: the much-anticipated Fuku, the New York-based, fast-casual fried chicken chain from David Chang (of Momofuku and Ugly Delicious fame).
Fuku is located at 43 Northern Ave., part of the One Seaport development, steps from the aforementioned Sweetgreen, Luke’s Lobster, and Caffe Nero, as well as Empire, Committee, Gather, and more.
The restaurant primarily focuses on spicy fried chicken sandwiches, complemented by salads, sides, and (non-alcoholic) slushies. Chicken also appears in the form of fingers and wings, each made with either a dry rub or a wet glaze (available in two spice levels) and various dipping sauces on the side.
When Eater NY critic Ryan Sutton visited the original New York location on opening day in 2015, he had much to say about the chicken: “The poultry is glorious. The outside is about as crunchy as a deep-fried chicken, without that overly dense bite one might encounter with a deeper skillet fry. The flavor, even though you’re eating thigh meat (versus a Chick-Fil-A breast), is neutral. This isn’t the funky poultry apotheosis we’re dealing with here. This is about the thigh carrying the flavor of the spices. And those spices are good, recalling the KFC spicy fried chicken wings I used to eat on Sundays while watching America’s Funniest Home Videos. These are flavors from the pre-YouTube era.”
While there are some Fuku concession stands at various stadiums and arenas around the country, this is the first full-blown Fuku location outside of New York, and it has a couple of Boston-exclusive menu items: the BOS and the B.F.C. The former is a spicy fried chicken sandwich topped with crispy squash rings, ranch, and the restaurant’s “extremely spicy” glaze, while the latter is available for dine-in only and includes a half habanero fried chicken, sweet and spicy fingers, five-spice wings, mac salad, fries, sauces, two potato rolls, and two drinks. (The Boston location doesn’t serve alcohol, and the drink selection includes a yuzu lemonade referred to as “yuzu-8,” a couple iced teas, and more.)
The Boston location — which will eventually have patio space outside, although the restaurant probably just missed the boat for this year — features Fuku’s bold orange-and-green color scheme, reminiscent of a peach and its leaf. (The “momo” in Momofuku refers to peaches in Japanese, and the Fuku logo plays around with that.) One wall is covered with a bright mural by local artist Christopher DeLorenzo. For seating, there are a few standard tables as well as some higher chairs along a counter.
By Rachel Leah Blumenthal