NYC's trendiest chicken chain has released a new chicken sandwich to rival Popeyes', and it completely destroys its competition

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderFuku’s piece of chicken was so big that they couldn’t even get the foil packet to fold over it.
  • Momofuku‘s trendy fried chicken restaurant, Fuku, has officially added its white meat spicy fried chicken sandwich to the menu at the chain’s 110 Wall Street location.
  • We first got our hands on the sandwich when the chain was testing the recipe for one week only in December 2019. After more than a month of anticipation, the sandwich has returned for good.
  • David Chang’s fast-food joint has been selling a dark meat version since 2015. As the fried chicken sandwich wars rage on, Fuku re-entered the competition with the alternate meat option and something called Fuku mayo – a mixture of mayonnaise and kimchi.
  • A Fuku representative told Business Insider that the team, led by Chef Stephanie Abrams, has been working on perfecting this recipe for more than a year. The new recipe is inspired by the original, which features a dark meat chicken thigh brined in habanero puree.
  • With Popeyes currently on top of the chicken sandwich food chain, we decided to pit it against this fancy newcomer.
  • Popeyes’ classic chicken sandwich is half the price of Fuku’s at $US3.99 and $US8.50 respectively, but if you’re looking for a quality sandwich more than you’re looking for a cheap snack, Fuku’s is well worth the extra $US4.
  • If not, Popeyes is a fine option that would leave you feeling full, regardless.
  • Fuku consistently sold out of its 50 white meat sandwiches per day during the trial week. Fuku told Business Insider that the new rollout also features a limited daily quantity of around 50 sandwiches.
  • Here’s the breakdown of this fried chicken sandwich showdown.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.


There are three Fuku restaurants in Manhattan and more outposts dotted around the US, but the white meat spicy fried chicken sandwich trial was happening only at the Wall Street location from December 9 through 13.

Rachel Askinasi/Business Insider

Being a fried chicken sandwich connoisseur myself, I had to go try it. I decided to pit it against the trendy, reigning fast-food sandwich champ: the Popeyes classic fried chicken sandwich.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderPopeyes’ classic chicken sandwich.

Source: Business Insider


My Fuku sandwich cost $US8.50 while my Popeyes classic fried chicken sandwich cost $US3.99.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderFuku (left) and Popeyes (right).

Both sandwiches came in partially-foil packets …

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderFuku (left) and Popeyes (right).

… but the Fuku packet had a paper layer on the inside and foil on the outside, while Popeyes’ was the reverse.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderFuku (top) and Popeyes (bottom).

When I took the Popeyes sandwich out of the packet, it was noticeably soggier than the Fuku sandwich. I saw that the heat had created condensation on the inside of the bag, which may have caused some problems for the sandwich.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderPopeyes’ chicken sandwich foil packet had droplets of water on the inside.

At first glance, both sandwiches looked like they were deliciously overflowing with fried chicken. Fuku’s definitely had more chicken that was hanging off the bun, but Popeyes’ was still pretty well-stuffed.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderFuku (left) and Popeyes (right).

The sheer size of the Fuku sandwich was shocking in the best way.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderFuku’s white meat spicy fried chicken sandwich.

There was almost as much chicken hanging off the potato bun as there was between it.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderFuku’s white meat spicy fried chicken sandwich.

Popeyes’ sandwich had some chicken peeking out of the boundaries of its brioche bun, too, but not nearly as much. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, though.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderPopeyes’ classic fried chicken sandwich.

Fuku’s sandwich comes with a double dose of a sauce the restaurant has dubbed Fuku mayo — a combination of mayonnaise and kimchi. Both sides of the Popeyes bun are slathered in classic mayo.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderFuku (left) and Popeyes (right).

The Fuku mayo was the better sauce by far. It had a sweet heat to it that nestled itself into all the nooks, crannies, and folds of the chicken’s layer of batter.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderFuku’s white meat spicy fried chicken sandwich soaks up the sauce without getting soggy.

Both sandwiches had a bed of pickles placed underneath the chicken. The Fuku sandwich had three crinkle-cut pickle chips placed in a triangle formation. This ensured a taste of pickle in every bite.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderFuku’s white meat spicy fried chicken sandwich.

There were two slightly thicker, even-cut pickle chips on the Popeyes sandwich. The placement looked a little less meticulous than Fuku, and there were parts of the bun that were missing that acidic crunch.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderPopeyes’ classic fried chicken sandwich.

Then it was time to put the full flavours to the test. On first-bite of the Fuku sandwich, I got a mouthful of crunchy breading — no chicken.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderA piece of rogue breading from Fuku’s white meat spicy chicken sandwich.

It was a little frustrating for some bites to be exclusively crunch, but the breading was so flavorful and held its texture so well that these chicken-less bites didn’t ruin the sandwich for me.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderThe Fuku breading stayed completely crunchy even an hour after purchasing the sandwich.

When I finally did get to the chicken, I was thoroughly impressed. The meat was thick, juicy, and steaming hot.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderFuku’s white meat spicy chicken sandwich.

Each bite of between-the-bun chicken was perfectly complimented by the subtle heat of the Fuku mayo and acidic pickles, and it was all wrapped so lovingly together by the tasty potato bun.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderFuku’s sandwich wasn’t too big to take a full bite.

When I first bit into the Popeyes sandwich, I got a well-balanced bite of pickle, mayo, chicken, breading, and bun. But, the breading wasn’t crunchy.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderPopeyes’ classic fried chicken sandwich.

The chicken was warm, but the buttermilk coating was mushy within seconds of the cashier handing me the bag.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderPictured above is the Popeyes sandwich just moments after purchase.

Another disappointing thing I noticed about the Popeyes sandwich is that there was little to no actual flavour. The Buttermilk was just kind of there and the chicken, while juicy, was bland.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderPopeyes’ classic fried chicken sandwich didn’t impress us.

Fuku’s sandwich exploded with flavour from all directions. Most noticeably from the breading, which was visibly speckled with pepper, unlike the Popeyes breading.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderA piece of Fuku breading (left) and Popeyes breading (right).

There were also some bites of the Popeyes sandwich that exposed a chewy, eggy-looking binding between the breading and the chicken, which was slightly off-putting.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderWe were also able to comfortably take a full bite of the Popeyes sandwich.

The parts of the Fuku breading that separated from the chicken revealed a clean break between the two components of the fried chicken piece.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderThere was nothing mushy inside this Fuku sandwich.

While the Popeyes sandwich is a perfectly fine option and comes at an extremely attractive price …

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderPopeyes’ sandwich pictured above.

… the flavour, texture, longevity, and perceived quality of Fuku’s new sandwich blew Popeyes’ sandwich out of the water. While I think it’s worth the extra $US4 as a once-in-a-while treat, Fuku may want to consider lowering the price if they want loyal customers coming in multiple times per week.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderFuku’s sandwich pictured above.

The Momofuku-concocted sandwich is now on the chain’s Wall Street menu permanently. Popeyes and the rest of the reigning fried chicken sandwich champions will have to watch their backs as this new competitor joins the fight.

Rachel Askinasi/Business InsiderYum!

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.