The thing that struck me most about Cheesus wasn’t the giant block of melted cheese, or the grilled steak that it is served on. No, it was the long line of cars that appear well before I saw any sign of the truck itself.
Cheesus can lay down a legitimate claim to, at the current moment, being the most famous food truck not only on Jeju but throughout the whole of Korea.
One video, shared by the Facebook group ‘Insider’, has currently been viewed over 700,000 times. It’s 30 seconds of viral optimized goodness clearly taking advantage of the fact that absolutely nothing on earth looks more delicious than melted cheese.
Naver, a place where the zeitgeist in Korea is easily found by looking at the blogs written by its users, currently has pages and pages of hits dedicated to the truck.
However, if it weren’t for the crowds of people outside the truck, there is nothing about it to suggest that it is one of the hot new things.
▲ Photo courtesy The Jeju Weekly
It is located, and I can’t emphasize this enough, in the middle of nowhere.
It is an hour’s drive from the city. You can see the volcanic tuff cone of Sunrise Peak in the background, but I certainly wouldn’t want to walk there. Opposite the food truck is what looks like some kind of farm produce packing facility, as well as the guest house that is run by the owners of the truck.
So what is it that is causing people to make the hour-long drive from the city to visit Cheesus? Or spend one of their precious vacation days visiting a food truck?
It could be the food. Cheesus has a simple menu. The main event is the raclette, a Swiss style dish where cheese is heated and then the melted part is scraped onto the meat below. In this case, the meat is a chopped up, fried, steak. The meat is tender and juicy and the cheese on top makes for a delicious addition.
As well as the raclette you also have the option of having the steak without the cheese (not sure why you would ever choose that) or adding fried shrimp to the dish for an extra 5000 won (looked delicious).
You can eat the food outside, or they also have a simple shelter type building where you can eat if you are lucky enough to get a seat.
However, while the food is certainly tasty, I (and judging by the crowds of people queuing up with cameras, lots of other people too) feel that perhaps the biggest draw to this food truck isn’t the food, but having the chance to record a video of a giant block of melted cheese being scraped onto some steak.
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