The Marini’s Group Founder Modesto Marini Toasts To A Decade Of Highlights

In the past decade, the Kuala Lumpur food and beverage scene has evolved but the one constant has been the beeline of locals and visitors at Marini’s on 57. Combining restaurant, lounge and bar, this chic rooftop destination is so close to the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers that patrons can observe nocturnal birds drawn to the lights of the two conical tips. This year, and out of the pandemic, Marini’s on 57 celebrates its 10th anniversary with a slew of milestone events: bartending competitions, an anniversary bash and a founder’s menu lavished with top ingredients such as saffron, caviar, truffles, lobster and Japanese wagyu. For Cavaliere Modesto Marini, founder and owner of The Marini’s Group, the anniversary is significant in that it also commemorates the group’s first decade, one of which has seen it expand into five different F&B concepts: steakhouse, Italian restaurant, champagne and caviar bar, gin parlour and the most recent Maristar – a dining-entertainment concept that combines a seafood bar with a fashion lounge. For the Lake Garda-born entrepreneur, restaurateur and chef, the numerous highlights of the decade are many, but some have endured in memory with a certain American singer and former Italian prime minister among them.

What are you most excited about this year?
When we first started on this culinary journey, it was to share my passion for food and vision for a world-class venue with the world. I’ve made it a point to promote Italy in my life, and my work is a part of me. I am absolutely looking forward to creating more exciting concept dining and entertainment ventures in the near future, and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Marini’s on 57 and The Marini’s Group.


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Your most memorable guest?
The list is so long, as we’ve had the privilege to host so many personalities; but if I had to pick one, it would be Jon Bon Jovi. People who know me know how much I love It’s My Life, so it was a great honour to have him dine with us. He is also such an admirable character with his charity kitchen foundation.

Your fondest memory of Marini’s on 57?
It would be 2016, when the then Italian ambassador to Malaysia HE Mario Sammartino arrived at Marini’s on 57 with former Italian prime minister, Enrico Letta, for dinner. They later surprised me with the prestigious Ordine Della Stella D’Italia (Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy) award, which comes with the honourable title Cavaliere, one of the highest civilian honours from the Italian government. That made all that I have contributed to the industry worth it.


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In your opinion, what has been pivotal to the success of the Marini’s Group in the past decade?
The people walking beside and next to me. Every one of those who supported me and who had faith in the brand and business.

What are the key lessons you’ve learnt, running a long-term business?
Stay focused on your goals, do what you know best, and get to know your business partners before you start working
with them.

First thing you do in the morning?
Have a coffee and then head out for my morning walk or a game of tennis.

What would make the biggest difference to your life?
Unlimited resources.

What do you crave most at the end of the day?
My private alone time with my old Italian movies (Totòtruffa 62 is my all-time favourite), and seeing my kids.

How do you find calm?
Working out and spending time outdoors, possibly even winding down with a glass of good wine.

If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
To play the saxophone.

How much do you trust your gut instinct?
Every bit of it.

What watch are you wearing?
I have many favourites. I like my Hublot King Power F1, but I’m currently favouring the Garmin.

What have you done recently for the first time?
Visiting Venice after almost 10 years and taking a guided tour to Murano, especially Burano. It was very memorable.


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What does success look like to you?
A balanced life and inner harmony.

Last piece of advice you gave?
Look at the numbers. The numbers don’t lie.

Who is your guru or inspiration?
I don’t really have one. But I did meet an amazing and very prominent guru in India when I spent two weeks in Bangalore in 2020.

Is there a piece of advice that you have received that changed your life?
Trust yourself and listen to the people who love you most. They are the ones who are happy to see you succeed.

How do you get to sleep?
I take a warm shower, enjoy a cup of warm herbal tea and settle in with my iPad, and with my wife of course.

What would you consider worth taking a risk for?
I take a risk each time I start a new business project.

Marini’s Group

Lead Photo: Law Soo Phye

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