M’sian Startup Selling Fine Dining Food In Taco Cups

The more expensive the food, the smaller its portion can be on your plate. It would be a familiar experience for those who love food.

Sometimes these meals barely fill you up, but they come in small portions due to the cost of the ingredients. Plus, fine dining is more about experience: dressing, being served, and enjoying the complex flavors of food more than just filling your tummy.

Taking out everything else in the concept except the food itself, Food In Cup Sizes (FICS) was started by a mother and son who wanted to serve gourmet bite-size meals in taco cups.

Bring refined cuisine to picnics

“It started when my mom made a cup of tacos as an afternoon snack for the family on an afternoon that garnered a lot of attention on Instagram,” the founders of FICS told Vulcan Post.

Initially, they had just made these taco cups for their friends to try, but they started getting more orders, and eventually it became a fun weekend thing for them during MCO.

A close up of their food in cups / Image credit: Food in cup sizes

“It’s great for picnics and events. If you were to finish a box yourself, it could be considered a meal, but you can also choose to share it with your friends and family. Having a bite of food just makes sharing easier, ”they explained.

While neither of them have professional culinary experience, they are passionate about Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef. “The gastronomic aspect of our food comes from the techniques we use. The type of food that we are trying to serve is not like food truck snacks. For example, our apples are crumbling. These are fancy things.

The chicken is seared, the apples are simmered, and the pizza sauces are slowly cooked as part of their process. Their food may be quick to consume, but enough time and care is spent on each taco cup.

In the making of their apple crumble cups (left) and pizza cups (right) / Image credit: Food In Cup Sizes

One thing they struggle with is extending the crispness of their cups so that they don’t get soggy quickly when their customers pick them up. It also took almost a full month of R&D on the shells and the different preparation methods.

Finally, slow cooking over low heat and a little oil in the bottom of the cup was their solution to keeping those cups crisp for a long time.

Now, they’ve managed to keep their cups crispy for 1.5 hours from 5 minutes initially, but they would still advise their customers to consume them as soon as possible.

FICS just started in January of this year, and they currently receive around 30 orders per month on average, most of which are B2C.

So far, they have 3 types of food in mugs for you to choose from namely Taco Mug (their bestseller), Pizza mug, and Apple Crumble mug. Here’s what you’ll find in each of their mugs:

Chopped offIngredients
TacoChicken, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, red cabbage and sour cream.
PizzaHomemade marinara sauce, cheddar, mozzarella and chicken.
Apple crumbleApples, cinnamon and oats.

Each box comes with 6 cups and costs RM19 per box. Currently, they deliver to Bukit Bintang area and Lembah Pantai district in Kuala Lumpur, and Petaling and Klang districts in Selangor.

On busy weekends they’re filled with orders / Image credit: Food In Cup Sizes

A race against time for freshness

Since there are a lot of fresh ingredients that are part of their mugs, they cannot make these mugs days in advance. Therefore, they are always working on a lack of time (no pun intended) to do fresh groceries and prepare the food in mugs on the day of delivery.

“We will marinate and prepare the meat the day before, to make sure the meat is marinated for at least 24 hours. On the day of delivery, we will cook the shells over low heat in the oven. ”

“In addition, we will also prepare the greens, sauce and garnish for these cups. Once everything is done, we will assemble the ingredients accordingly and take them out for delivery, ”they shared with Vulcan Post.

Bringing Fine Dining to the Picnic Mat / Image Credit: Food In Cup Sizes

Delivery is another pressing time for them to preserve freshness again, so they will do their best to deliver the cups themselves within 30 minutes of preparation.

Mother-son duo FICS hope to be able to serve their food at weddings or events as finger foods or appetizers, and are looking to explore catering, restaurant and cafe sourcing and other B2B transactions.

These taco cups certainly seem to fit the needs of the restaurant business well, as my first impression of them was also that they would make appetizers for fancy parties very well. While none of the elements FICS incorporates into the mugs is new, it is the combination of fine dining and taco mugs that makes it an attractive offering.

  • You can read more about the food cup sizes here.
  • You can read more F&B related articles that we have covered here.

Featured Image Credit: Founders of Food In Cup Sizes


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Jothi Venkat

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