Reino Barack shares with us his love of food and business.

Reino Barack shares with us his love of food and business.

“MY STUDY IN Paris changed me. I was not a foodie before. I was basically just eating to live. But my five years stay in Paris changed me. There were so many different yet good food; Italian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and of course French,” said Reino about his first ventures as a foodie.

Having found a new drive, he has been traveling all over the world to try new food ever since. French food used to be his favorite, though he still like it but he admitted that Jap-anese and Italian food has take over the throne.

Ask him about which restaurant should be visited and he will give you a long list of must visit. “I can give you 30 names right now,” he said matter-of-factly.

Reino also said his being three-quarter Japanese might have led him to go with a different approach to food.

“Japanese blood is running in my vein and they are known for having a very meticulous tongue and detail. So I think 75 percent of my tongue is like that.”

The first on his favorite currently is Il Riccio in Capri which sits next to the island’s famous Blue Grotto.

“The food is fantastic. They also have a chamber named Pudding Room, and each guest is invited to pay a visit to select what delights should be brought to the table to end the meal. I had never encountered such a chamber before. It feels like being in Alice in Wonderland and the surrounding leaves you in awe,” recalled the man who share the same birth date with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Chris Pratt.

The other ones on the list are Gyuho in Osaka and Tickets in Barcelone. On the Indonesian side of the list, Reino recommend Mie and You in Dharmawangsa and a street vendor that sells soto kambing in Kota. “The place is hidden. I have to show you how to get there,” he said.

Reino is a mix of foodie and entrepreneur. He believes in the fundamentals: retail and volume. According to him there are three things that never goes out of style in business; food, fashion, and property. After gaining experience in corporate law and media in Indonesia, he moves to the food industry after seeing the wave created by Ismaya and Union. His venture in the food industry started when a Japanese friend asking him to invest in a place known today as Altitude which is a home to Gaia, En Maru, and Salt Grill.

“I like to eat and the service industry. I look at the numbers and I think the concept pre-sented is alright. Basically the fundamental was there and within a very short period of time, the business in Altitude is going well. It is even more than what I expected.”

After making a successful move with Altitude, Reino continued on by investing in  Ristorante da Valentino and he plans to open a new one next year.  Reino who list ramen and martabak as his guilty pleasure said he made decision in the food industry by coming from a costumer perspective.

“When I come to my restaurants, I always see it from costumer point of view and com-ment, I also befriend with lots of foodies and get their input. I get a very honest comment from them. Don’t tell it is good because you are my friend but tell me your true opinion.”

For the next move, Reino plans to go bigger by targeting wider market.

“It is a very interesting phase in Indonesia food industry and it is an oppurtunity that should not be missed.”

Instagram: @reinobarack

Written by Tatu Hutami Photographs by Dennie Ramon January 24, 2017.