Koreans really have a way of making foods more “American” than we can pull off in the US, all while keeping them distinctly “Asian”. I first experienced this when in Seoul and stumbled upon a restaurant that did a “Cheese Moat” stir fry. You read that correctly, a stir fry with a moat of cheese surrounding it. While there isn’t a moat of cheese at RAWTruckr there is a swimming pool. A yellow tinged bubbling lagoon of melted cheese, waiting for crispy wings to take a dip.
I could stop the review right there and it would be enough, but I’ll continue for the sake of stoking your appetite; just a bit more.
Korean style chicken wings are slightly different. Instead of a wheat based coating (like the US) or a rice based one (like here in Thailand), they use potato starch. This allows the wings to remain crispy even after being drenched in sauce; almost unbelievably crispy.
After making the correct order off RAWTruckr’s very small menu (i.e. turning to the fondue page), a waiter will bring over a little burner topped with a rectangular metal plate. The plate is dissected into two harmonious halves – one shredded cheese, the other, freshly sauced wings. This device’s only purpose in life is to melt cheese. The thought of this should make you as a happy as it does me.
This is where the fore play begins. The heat from the burner begins to slowly liquify the individual sherds of cheese into a semi solid and free flowing mass. Two small wooden paddles are provided to help coax the cheese into long strings. At your leisure, you wrap the newly formed golden ropes around the awaiting wing – reminiscent of a mother swaddling her child, really.
While it is a pretty straight forward eating arrangement here, there are a few things that can increase the delectability of your meal. Firstly, the little ramekin of fake Parmesan cheese that comes with your meal. Be sure to not only add some to your melting cheese for improved flavor, but also leave some for dipping. It has a nostalgic Mom’s spaghetti feel to it – almost like your holding that little green cylinder of saw dust, sitting at your old family table.
Secondly, that cheese at the bottom of the tray that looks like it’s too stuck to salvage. You’re gunna want to wait till it goes brown and crispy, then scrap your little heart out. This is essentially the inside of a grilled cheese that oozes out and frys directly on the pan; a paella’s socarrat if you will.
RAWTruckr, just down the road from CMU, is a place made by young Thai people for young Thai people. That’s to say it’s a bit trendy, the AC is on way too high, and there’s hints of Doraemon memorabilia scattered about. The customers here are mainly university students and delivery drivers. This is a great sign for good and cheap food anywhere in the world.
The best way to enjoy this place would be to grab some friends, order a few pools of cheese with wings, glove up, chow down, and then immediately go home and sleep – you’ll surely need to.
Prices above for wings without melted cheese.*
Open : 11:00-22:00 Everyday
The Good Stuff Chiang Mai