David Chang, the chef and owner of the Momofuku restaurant company and host of Netflix series Ugly Delicious, is opening his popular fried chicken chain Fuku in Austin this week. The delivery-only location will open at 1501 East 13th Street starting on Thursday, October 21 at 5 p.m.
The menu focuses on spicy fried chicken sandwiches — with a fried habanero-brined chicken breast — on Martin’s potato rolls. There are also chicken fingers, waffle fries, a chicken burger, and sauces.
Initially, Fuku’s Austin deliveries will only be available in Central East Austin. Then the company will expand into other neighborhoods over the next two months, including MLK, Parker Lane, Bouldin Creek, Holly, Westgate, Wooten, North Austin, and others. These deliveries will be made through third-party companies, including Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, and Postmates via a partnership with the national ghost kitchen chain Reef Kitchens.
Chang actually announced Fuku during South by Southwest in 2015 as his new fast-casual fried chicken venture with a whole ordering app component in New York City. The first and original location — which took over the former Momofuku Ko space —eventually closed, but the company expanded with additional restaurants and kiosks in Manhattan and beyond, including Boston and Los Angeles.
While much-hyped and beloved by many people, these delivery-only Fukus haven’t always been successful. The first of these happened in Portland — which was supposed to last for three months — stopped after less than a month of operations in April 2020 because Portland chefs food writers took issue with a national chain opening in a new city when local chefs were struggling during dining room closures.
When Fuku launched in Houston and Dallas earlier this April, customers reported that the restaurant didn’t show up on delivery apps, never received their order, drivers canceled orders, or just generally had really long wait times.
This isn’t the first national and/or celebrity-backed ghost kitchen restaurant to open in Austin. The city’s got Mariah Carey cookies, New York’s famed Ivan Ramen, California hot dog chain Dog Haus, and Guy Fieri. New York City bakery Milk Bar ran a pop-up for a bit earlier this summer.
Disclosure: David Chang is producing shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of those shows, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.
- Fuku [Official]