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Monday, November 6, 2017


Once considered a novelty modelled after the trending food trucks of Los Angeles, today the modern urban food truck has become a common sight in the Klang Valley. Three years since they entered the scene, we speak to food truck and catering business, Curbside Cantina to learn more about how they keep their wheels turning.

While Malaysians have usually been familiar along the idea concerning roadside meals vendors selling flat-out beyond their vehicle, it used to be only a few years ago to that amount a current worry of cutting-edge food vehicles started out emerging. These vans – usually emblazoned together with the company honor or painted a bright, bold shade – made it feasible for us to experience café-style food through the roadside. In no day at all, meals trucks started out trending. 

Fast far in imitation of 2017, or the food barter aspect has reached a wholesome peak; Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) too commenced the Kuala Lumpur Food Truck treatment in 2016, which turns Jalan Raja next according to Dataran Merdeka in a meals exchange lane each and every preceding yet 0.33 weekend about every month. That equal year, TAPAK Urban Street Dining was also employ upon of the town Furer about Jalan Ampang.

But the meals barter vogue wouldn’t bear started besides some native pioneers, whosoever took the gamble over serving meals regarding wheels, whilst riding their marketing via convivial media. Curbside Cantina, a Mexican meals truck, is some regarding them. 

Curbside Cantina first started in 2014, and has stood strong since. The food truck’s focus on fuss-free Mexican favourites such as tacos, nachos and churros – using quality ingredients – is likely the reason for their success.
The business is run by husband and wife team Awangku Irawan (Tubby) and Noreen Ramli. The couple are no strangers to the food business; they ran The Pink Sage (one of Kuala Lumpur’s earliest brunch cafés) from 2008 to its closure in 2011.
Curbside Cantina is run by husband and wife team Awangku Irawan (left) and Noreen Ramli (right).
“As they say, the tightly closed is within the pudding!” says Noreen regarding where makes Curbside Cantina remain out. “On a important note, we are important as regards the food we accomplish or take no shortcuts as regards it.”According in accordance with Noreen, the fish tacos stay a squash favorite then a permanent item about the menu, but that slave sing seasonal objects in imitation of maintain things interesting. For now, it’s the Baco – a move on their normal taco but the use of Turkish flatbread alternatively over tortilla. 
In theirs early days, Curbside Cantina catered after the lunch huddle in definitive commercial enterprise districts, but parking constraints then increasing space rental charges conduct them in accordance with variation in conformity with a wholly nighttime schedule. However, forlorn formed theirs reputation, Curbside Cantina soon grew to become a fixture over native music gala's and other events.
More recently, she were recognised by MyCreative Ventures, a rule initiative in imitation of pay up enterprise ventures between the innovative industry. MyCreative instituted Curbside Cantina its forward culinary arts investee in the past that year.
“The timing was kismet because to us in conformity with develop our business,” says Noreen. “[We’re] dead honoured in accordance with bear our efforts culminate within this way, because so we strive to do matters in a unique access than others might, it’s difficult to inform salvo we’re doing such right.” 
For now, you can find the truck on weekday evenings from 5pm to 10pm, parked on Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7 in TTDI, nearby their headquarters and dining facility. However, Noreen hints that pretty soon Curbside Cantina will revisit areas like Bangsar and Sri Hartamas again.
With investment from MyCreativeVentures, Noreen and Tubby were able to make improvements to both Curbside Cantina and their catering business Cantina Moderna, such as integrating a seamless bulk order and booking process, as well as a physical upgrade to the Curbside Cantina truck.
“[For catering, and deliveries] we've gone online with a webcart for small orders which we used to take on manually,” says Noreen. This means that a bulk order of Curbside Cantina’s famous fish tacos are just a click away, on curbsidecantina.oddle.me.
As for future plans, Noreen adds that the next big improvement will be rolling out Curbside Cantina’s second truck in December, which will make it possible for them to cater to more areas. Other than that, they also plan to build an app to better manage different segments of their services.
“With more and more agencies supporting and offering financing for mobile [food] operators, it's clear that mobile operations will be a staple and a new way of adding to the versatility and growth of the city,” says Noreen.
Find Curbside Cantina on Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur on weekday evenings from 5pm to 10pm. For location updates, follow Curbside Cantina on Instagram. For bookings and catering, visit www.curbsidecantina.co.
Pitch your business with MyCreative Ventures at www.mycreative.com.my
By Syarifah Syazana
Photos by Teoh Eng Hooi