Mu Ramen, the Queens noodle store that started as a bagel retailer popup in 2013 and have become a type of most acclaimed ramen eating places on the town, did not survive the pandemic, by no means reopening after the preliminary lockdown in March of 2020. However a few months in the past one other restaurant, Kuku Rooster lastly took over the shuttered Jackson Avenue spot and, though it is very totally different from the beloved Mu, it is superb in its personal proper.
Kuku Rooster presents loads of rooster, clearly, and in loads of alternative ways. There are Wings and Drums, served in massive buckets in order for you, and ready as both “spicy,” “garlic,” or with a “candy n’ spicy glaze,” which includes a crisp garlic chip sprinkle. They do not particularly name these Korean-style wings, however the provenance is evident.
A dozen wings is the minimal order, so I, a solo diner, opted as a substitute to attempt Kuku’s Poppers, appropriately positioned within the Crunch part of the menu (you may also get Tenders right here). These have been scrumptious, only a marvel of fried chicken engineering, with a crackling exterior and juicy meat inside (and this was all chicken, too, not a straightforward trick to drag off).
There are 4 kinds of fried rooster sandwich, together with a piled-high Traditional Spicy magnificence that was messy as hell–the potato bun is not fairly as much as the task–but actually hit the spot after a day spent biking everywhere in the metropolis. Once more, the meat right here nails that crispy-juicy combo, the sauce is legitimately fiery, and the pickled issues on high clean the entire thing out.
There are additionally sandwiches drenched in Candy Thai Chili sauce, Nacho Cheese, or Home Ranch, the latter of which I had with my Poppers and was fairly good. And undoubtedly get an order of Kuku’s Waffle Fries to go together with no matter you order. They’re glorious and may include any variety of dipping sauces, from Kuku Spicy Garlic to Buffalo Scorching to Wasabi Cream to good ol’ Ketchup.
All of that will be greater than sufficient to maintain me completely satisfied by way of a number of visits, however the Kuku’s menu additionally has an entire web page of Korean (or Japanese) classics from which to decide on, that includes extra entree-like fare akin to Beef Bulgogi; Japchae with stir-fry vermicelli, pork, or rooster Katsu served over rice; and Tteokbokki, rice truffles tossed in gochujang and topped with each fish truffles and pork dumplings.
I went with the Kimchi Fried Rice on this class, and was rewarded with a first-rate model of this funky, filling dish. The runny fried egg and chewy, smoky bacon studded all through actually amped up the attraction of this plate.
The essential inside is far the identical as when Mu Ramen lived right here—you will acknowledge that ceiling instantly—although they’ve eliminated that odd central staging space to raised accommodate its counter-service logistics. Most significantly, Kuku is serving up nice dishes in right here (all of which the workers readily available can let you know all about in order for you some steering).
Kuku Rooster is positioned 1209 Jackson Avenue, between forty eighth Avenue and forty seventh Street, and is at the moment open each day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (718-706-8888; kukuchicken.com)