The more expensive the food, the smaller its portion may be on your plate. This would be a familiar experience for those who enjoy fine dining.
Sometimes these meals barely even fill you, but they come in small portions because of how expensive the ingredients may be. Furthermore, fine dining is more about the experience: dressing up, getting served, and enjoying the intricate flavours of the food more than just filling your tummy.
Stripping away everything else about the concept but the food itself, Food In Cup Sizes (FICS) was started by a mother and son who wanted to serve bite-sized, fine dining meals in taco cups.
Bringing Fine Dining To Picnics
“It started when my mom made a taco cup as an afternoon snack for the family one afternoon which caught a lot of attention on Instagram,” the founders of FICS shared with Vulcan Post.
Initially, they’d just made these taco cups for their friends to try out, but they started getting more orders, and eventually it became a fun weekend thing for them to do during MCO.
“It’s great for picnics and events. If you were to finish a box on your own, it could be considered as a meal, but you can also choose to share it with your friends and family. Having a bite-sized food just makes it easier to share,” they explained.
While neither of them have professional culinary experience, they’re Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef enthusiasts. “The fine dining aspect of our food comes from the techniques we use. The type of food we try to serve aren’t like food truck snacks. For example, our apple crumbles. That’s some fancy stuff.”
Chicken is seared, apples are simmered, and pizza sauces are slow-cooked as part of their process. Their food may be fast to consume, but the care and time that goes into each taco cup is plenty.
One thing they struggle with is prolonging the crunchiness of their cups so that they don’t get soggy fast when their customers are having them. This, too, took almost an entire month of just R&D on the shells and different methods of preparation.
Eventually, slow-baking with low heat plus a little bit of oil at the bottom of the cup was their solution to keeping these cups crispy for a long time.
Now, they’ve managed to get their cups to stay crunchy for 1.5 hours from 5 minutes initially, but would still advise their customers to consume them as soon as possible.
FICS just started in January this year, and they currently receive about 30 orders per month on average, the bulk of which are B2C.
So far, they have 3 types of food in cups you can choose from, which are the Taco cup (their bestseller), the Pizza cup, and the Apple Crumble cup. Here are what you’d find in each of their cups:
|Taco||Chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, red cabbage, and sour cream.|
|Pizza||Homemade marinara sauce, cheddar, mozzarella, and chicken.|
|Apple Crumble||Apples, cinnamon, and oats.|
Each box comes with 6 cups and costs RM19 per box. Currently, they deliver to the Bukit Bintang area and Lembah Pantai district in Kuala Lumpur, and the Petaling and Klang districts in Selangor.
A Race Against Time For Freshness
Since there are a lot of fresh ingredients that are part of their cups, they can’t prepare these cups days ahead. Hence, they’re always working on a time crunch (no pun intended) to get fresh groceries and make the food in cups on the day of delivery itself.
“We’ll marinate and prepare the meat a day before, to ensure the meat is marinated for at least 24 hours. On the delivery day, we’ll bake the shells in low heat in the oven.”
“Additionally, we’ll also prepare the greens, the sauce, and the garnish for these cups. Once everything is done, we’ll then assemble the ingredients accordingly and get them out for delivery,” they shared with Vulcan Post.
Delivery is another time crunch for them to preserve freshness once again, so they’ll try their best to deliver the cups themselves within 30 minutes after preparation.
The FICS mother-and-son duo hopes that they’ll be able to serve their food at weddings or events as finger foods or appetisers, and are looking to explore catering, supplying to restaurants and cafés, and other B2B transactions.
These taco cups certainly seem to match catering purposes well, as my first impression of them was also that they would do great as hors d’oeuvres for fancy parties. While none of the elements that FICS incorporates into the cups is new, it’s the combination of fine dining meals and taco cups that makes their offering an eye-catching one.
- You can learn more about Food In Cup Sizes here.
- You can read more F&B-related articles we’ve covered here.
Featured Image Credit: Founders of Food In Cup Sizes