Celeb chef David Chang’s chicken sandos return to Houston after rocky rollout
A celebrity chef-backed chicken sandwich restaurant is giving Houston another shot. Fuku, the concept developed by David Chang, recently returned to Houston at Kitchen United MIX, the ghost kitchen facility inside the Kroger at 1035 N. Shepherd Dr.
Once again, the company's chicken sandwiches, chicken fingers, and fries are available either for pick-up or delivery via third apps. Diners may choose from a spicy fried chicken sando topped with pickles and mayo; the "knockout" sando topped with knockout sauce (described as "creamy, tangy, and savory"), shredded cabbage, and pickles; the C.B.R. topped with bacon, ranch, and pickles; the sweet and spicy sando; or the chicken burger made with a ground chicken patty that's topped with lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles, American cheese, and mayo ("make it a double," the website suggests).
Chicken fingers come in regular, sweet & spicy, and "rippin' hot" flavors. Those looking to feed a crowd may opt for a bucket of wings. Vegan will find nuggets made with Impossible chicken.
Fuku's initial debut in Houston went poorly. Complaints flooded in about delayed or canceled orders and substandard food. For its return, the restaurant switched ghost kitchen partners.
Asked to comment about what steps the company took to improve its performance, a Fuku representative provided the following statement from CEO Alex Munoz-Suarez:
"We're so grateful for the overwhelming response we received in Houston last year. Fuku is committed to working with operating partners like Kitchen United that have proven track records of keeping up with delivery demand, minimizing wait times, and maintaining the highest brand standards. We delivered on all of those fronts this past weekend and look forward to continually delivering the best possible guest experience in Houston and beyond."
Chang — a multiple time James Beard Award winner, founder of the New York-based Momofuku restaurant empire, and the star of TV series such as Netflix's Ugly Delicious and The Next ThingYou Eat on Hulu — initially developed the Fuku chicken sandwich as an off the menu special at Momofuku Noodle Bar. Fuku opened as a dedicated concept in New York 2015; it has since expanded via ghost kitchen to California, Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas.
The chef knows Houston well. He featured the city on an episode of Ugly Delicious and donated his $1 million prize from winning Who Wants to be a Millionaire to local non-profit the Southern Smoke Foundation.