XXIV - 2015

Kirk Martin, CEO of CÉ LA VI, weighs the importance of each project by the time it takes to complete


PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 November, 2015, 5:11pm
UPDATED : Friday, 20 November, 2015, 12:02pm

Expanding an exciting restaurant-lounge-nightclub concept across different countries in Asia really doesn't leave Kirk Martin, CEO of CE LA VI, with much time to spare.

"The day becomes very long, so finding time in the day can be a challenge. You have to manage time," he says. 

"My days start pretty early. I'm usually up by 7am and in the office by 9am. We provide an experience in the restaurant or the club and, because our business is culinary, mixology, bars, entertainment, lounge and clubbing, I sometimes end up in a club or restaurant until very late at night engaging with our guests."

Taking a breather from it all, Martin likes to relax by cooking during his spare time.

"It's an indulgence, taking time for myself and making a great meal centred on a special dish. I love doing it, it's fantastic. I'm not really a chef but I like cooking. It's almost therapeutic and I enjoy it - looking at a recipe and figuring out what I'm going to make. If I need an allocation of two hours, maybe I can do that on a Sunday or Monday evening. Other days, I know I barely have time for dinner. 

"Time or having enough time is a challenge. Time becomes very valuable; it becomes more valuable than other resources. When someone brings us a project, if it's going to take a lot of time from your team and the results and payback are small - then it's not worth it because it eats up too much of everyone's time. Time is such a precious commodity." 

With a thriving presence in Singapore, CE LA VI, which was rebranded from KU DE TA, recently opened in Hong Kong on the top floor of the new California Tower in Lan Kwai Fong. Up and coming outposts in Taipei and Dubai mean Martin will continue to have his hands full.

"In two years, we will end up with another three [clubs], we can probably open up one every eight months. We are looking at Taipei, Dubai, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea and some other offers. We prefer warmer weather since it fits our DNA better - Asia is our priority, then Europe and US and maybe Australia. Our first priority is Asia because we think there is great opportunity here to deliver a homegrown brand, because we developed in Singapore."

Encompassing Southeast Asian heritage that covers countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia, CE LA VI aims to take the best of the region and add an urban twist and organic feel - whether with the decorative red Balinese temple discs greeting you at the reception, the volcanic lava stone façade or the green wall, or a touch of Asian spice in the cocktails. EN

Koppel Chronograph

"When I’m wearing jeans or a sports jacket I like this one - it's a very clean watch but with a denim blue strap."


Chiffre Rouge A05

"Open face in red in the black, this has a really nice bracelet. It feels really great to wear, a very comfortable watch to wear."