The dish in question is a play on the classic Peking duck pancake dish found at most Chinese restaurants, with Juicy Lucy swapping out the pancake for a soft tortilla, and then wrapping it around a fried-chicken cutlet, garlic rice, Sriracha, slaw, hoisin sauce and a spear of pickled cucumber.
Butter introduced its own version last week, which is available until May 5 at both its Parramatta and Surry Hills outposts. There, the dish sees the duck replaced by six pieces of crisp fried-chicken thigh strips and served with steamed pancakes, green shallots, cucumber, hoisin and plum sauce, with the large serving best for two to four people. Butter says it was created in consultation with on-the-rise executive chef Julian Cincotta (Rockpool Bar and Grill and Nomad).
Owner Milan Strbac posted an image on his Instagram account (@milansugars) last week of Juicy Lucy’s Peking Cluck burrito beside Butter’s version. “Our month-old Peking Cluck wrap is so popular that @buttersydney, which is 300 metres up the road, has decided to follow in our footsteps,” its caption read.
Strbac says his Peking Cluck burrito has been on the menu for a month and has been widely pushed across social media: “I put my spin on it with hoisin-and-chilli dressing, and instead of fresh cucumber, I’m using pickled cucumber.”.
“I got up in the morning and saw [on Instagram] Butter are doing this new wrap and I’m like … to even have the same name? I created something, which is totally different to a pancake … and to find a guy who is 250 metres up the road with a very similar concept to my shop, with the same name, it’s a bit of a slap in the face,” Strbac told Broadsheet.
“It’s just not on – I would never do something like that.”
We're bringing the Imperial Palace to the streets Sydney! 'The Peking Cluck' special starts @buttersydney today. Enjoy your choice of 6 OR 12 pieces crispy thigh strips, steamed pancakes, green shallots, fresh cucumber, Hoisin and Plum sauce. Try our April Specials, ‘All Lycheez On Me Slushie’ and ‘Matcha Icecream Whip’ while you're in! Head over to Butter Parramatta and Surry Hills today.
Strabec responded to Butter’s Instagram post, which advertised its take on the dish, saying: “Thanks for totally stealing the name of our wrap for your food.”
“What a cluck up! Great minds think alike?” responded a spokesperson from Butter.
When Broadsheet asked Butter executive chef Julian Cincotta whether Juicy Lucy’s accusation was fair, he was quick to defend how different the two dishes are. “We named a dish ‘The Peking Cluck’ and Juicy Lucy named a dish the ‘Peking Cluck’. Did we ‘copy’ or ‘steal’ the name? No, we did not even know they had a burrito called the Peking Cluck. Did we ‘copy’ or ‘steal’ the dish? No, we are offering very different things,” he says.
So, what makes the two dishes distinct? “They seem to have created a burrito/wrap and we are more true to the original Peking duck flavours, minus the duck. We actually have a long creative process that goes into developing the dish and this was first dreamt up about a year ago,” Cincotta says, while stressing the importance of taking an accusation like this seriously. “You should always seek to understand before being understood and I think it is important for us to first seek to understand this from Juicy Lucy’s perspective,” he says.
The “peking cluck” name is not new. Google the term and an archived New York Times “Peking Cluck” recipe for “revisionist Peking duck” comes up. It was from April 25, 1971. When probed about this, Strbac admits it’s his take on an old idea. “It’s not an original idea, but we came up with the idea of doing it in a wrap,” says Strbac.
So where to now? Will Juicy Lucy be taking it any further? “What am I going to get out of it? I’ve got more important things to worry about,” says Strbac.
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