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Dan Segall

Blog: Wednesday, Jun 29

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Now its REALLY Official...

I would update you on what life has been like since I've been in Singapore, but you may want to watch this to catch a glimpse :  http://www.foodnetworkasia.com/tv-shows/a-culinary-coup-the-launch-of-ku-de-ta.htmlPlease join in watching on Monday April 18 @ 8pm for our World Premier (nuts right?!?!)The show will air on the Cooking Channel in the US & on Food Network UK in September.For me, this program is dedicated to the cooks of  KU DE TA Singapore... thank you guys.

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It's Official!

www.straitstimes.com

Life!

Home > Life! > Life News > Story

Sep 3, 2010

Staging a Ku De Ta

Classy restaurant-club

brand from Bali will open at the SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands this month

by lineBy cara van miriah

Guests can sip their drinks at the outdoor Sky Bar (above) located just above the public observation deck or party the night away at the club. -- PHOTOS: KU DE TA

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story content : startSingapore's nightlife scene has scored another coup. Bali's popular beachfront restaurant-club Ku De Ta is opening here in time for the F1 party season.

Ku De Ta, which is a play on the phrase 'coup d'etat', is opening atop the 200m-high SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands.

It is the third foreign nightspot brand that the resort has been able to bag, after signing up Hollywood clubs Pangaea and Avalon. Those will be situated on 'floating' glass-and-steel pavilion structures in Marina

Bay.

However, Ku De Ta will open four months ahead of them in the middle of this month. The sprawling 1,300 sq m venue will be the largest food and beverage outlet at SkyPark, boasting a 230-seater restaurant and a 168-seater club with spectacular views.

Mr David Sylvester, senior vice-president (retail Asia) of Las Vegas Sands Corp, says: 'Ku De Ta has been a magnet for sophisticated clientele and it has put Bali on the global map with its distinctive concept. Now, with this latest location, we are elevating the entertainment selection for our VIP guests to the next level.'

In Bali, the chic Ku De Ta restaurant, bar and beach club is in the trendy Seminyak district. It was founded 10 years ago by Australian businessman Arthur Chondros.

Ku De Ta Singapore is a licensed brand and its holding company Ku De Ta SG lists Hong Konger Chris Au and Singapore permanent resident Samir Joshi as directors. This is the brand's second outlet.

News that the Ku De Ta brand is opening here was announced in an interview on Monday with its management team, comprising executive chef Dan Segall, chief sommelier Dario Buonavoglia and entertainment director Vinnie Quek.

Mr Segall, 35, who specialises in modern Asian cuisine, tells Life!: 'The SkyPark is a unique venue that embodies all the key elements of the Ku De Ta brand. With the infinity pool in the SkyPark, we can put an urban spin on the beachfront parties that Bali is famous for.' The Boston native worked in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai for seven years, including a stint at the award-winning Zuma restaurant in Hong Kong.

SkyPark will also have the soon-to-be-opened Sky On 57, which will feature European and Asian fare by local celebrity chef Justin Quek. It will take up 929 sq m at the other end of the rooftop from Ku De Ta.

Ku De Ta will be divided into three areas: the restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating and a Sky Bar just above the public observation deck; an intimate club and lounge; and a poolside terrace where guests can sip cocktails and chill out on daybeds. There are also outdoor VIP terraces for private bookings.

At a glance, Ku De Ta's circular Sky Bar resembles Bangkok's famous rooftop Sky Bar at Sirocco restaurant at The Dome at Lebua Hotel.

But a Ku De Ta spokesman says: 'It's an original design and it's a compliment if guests find similarities to the bar in Bangkok as it is an amazing venue.' Hong Kong-based Positive Partnership is behind Ku De Ta's chic, contemporary look.

While Ku De Ta seeks to draw the sophisticated set, Mr Segall was quick to emphasise that the restaurant will not charge skyhigh prices and its atmosphere is nothing like a stuffy fine-dining eatery.

He says: 'I don't believe that people should pay high prices to enjoy a meal. It is communal-style dining where the portions are small, so we encourage people to come in groups to savour different dishes.' An average meal will range between $150 and $180 a person.

Guests have to pay a club cover-charge from 10pm over the counter at the hotel lobby at Tower 3. Entry is free for diners heading to the restaurant. Visitors who pay $20 to enter the SkyPark will not have access to Ku De Ta.

The club will transform from a chill-out bar-lounge playing groovy tunes when it opens from 3pm to a dance club playing hard-hitting electronic dance tracks as the night progresses.

If you feel like sipping champagne, you can pick from a list of more than 40, including rare vintages, says Mr Buonavoglia, 28, who was the former head sommelier at London's Michelin-starred Hakkasan.

Although Ku De Ta is located at a tourist attraction, Mr Segall wants to attract Singaporeans as well.

He says: 'Singapore has a vibrant dining and clubbing scene and we want locals to experience what Ku De Ta has to offer, especially those who have heard of the brand but have yet to visit it.'

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Aspiring TV Star... :)

Shot this last year in hopes of landing a TV spot... I ended up being the producer's first choice, but the show is still'In development' as they say.Keep your fingers crossed for me in 2010!!!

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Umami Concepts

So one of the most common questions I get these days is, "So Chef, what are you doing these days??" Ok, not everyone calls me 'Chef', but the questions remains : what does a chef do if he doesn't have a restaurant?!?! In 2009, after I opened M1NT Shanghai, I formed a company with another chef and good friend, Nolan Ledarney. We transformed his recruiting/consulting company Umami Solutions into Umami Concepts, a boutique culinary consulting firm. Which begs the question : What the hell does that mean?Well... we do a variety of things for restaurants and other culinary ventures, but to make it plain... I've got some photos of course.Last year we were contacted by a company that was hired to take over the management of a restaurant. They were to rework the bar menu, service standard, market position and of course the menu. But not having any chefs on staff, they hired Umami Concepts to do the food. After a few talks we created a menu that we thought would work in this restaurant in Beijing.http://www.domusbeijing.com/We decided that a simple French Bistro menu would be the most effective solution. I got up there for 16 days, created recipes, trained chefs, calculated food costs and launched a fantastic bistro menu that has made the guests happy... here a few of the dishes we did : Vegetables 'a la greque' - these are just some house-made pickles we put on the table complimentary. I love pickles and they are a way to start a meal. Certainly gets the appetite going.This is just a really simple salad of Bibb Lettuce salad with fresh herbs and a vinaigrette. I try to get fresh herbs into everything I make. I guess I should work on a salad with 24 Herbs!!![](/attachments/2010/01/02/11/62444_201001021101141.thumb.jpg)You can find a Salade Nicoise at just about any bistro... it always has tuna, eggs, potato, green beans & Nicoise olives. This one is a deconstructed version with Olive Oil Poached Tune, Tomato Confit and a 6-Minute egg. Very tasty and fun to eat.I just love this one... Smoked Trout Salad with Potato, Endive and a Lemon-Caper DressingThese are two different Tartare or chopped raw meat... :) We did a salmon tartare and a traditionl beef.of course no French menu is complete without Foie Gras (fattened goose liver). This is a Foie Gras Torchon, my favorite way to prepare and eat foie. This preparation takes 3 days to make. First I soak the liver in milk for 24 hours to remove the blood. Then marinate with salt, pepper, sugar and Sauternes wine for 24 hours. Then I poach it in a bath of wine and seasoning, roll it in cheese cloth and hang for at least a day... Actually, I should just write a whole blog only about a Foie Gras Torchon! This one we served with fresh brioche toast, prune puree and French salt. another difficult, but rewarding preparation is my Crispy Pied de Cochon... pigs foot! It takes a long time, but we braise the feet until they fall off the bone and then roll them in cloth. The pigs feet have a lot of connective tissue that breaks down into jelly when you cook for a long time, so they really hold together nicely. Then we slice into portions and lightly bread them. To finish, we fry in a pan with butter until crispy. They disks of boneless pigs feet stay firm, but get warm an gooey on the inside while staying nice and crispy on the outside. This one is served with a Fava Bean Stew... Makes me happy just writing about it![](/attachments/2010/01/02/11/62444_201001021101143.thumb.jpg)For the seafood lover its Bouillabaisse! A traditional French staple with dozens of variations. This one has a really classic taste with fennel, Pernod and saffron... I have to say that the Chinese chefs at Domus really nailed this one. I was impressed how well they could get the flavor spot on![](/attachments/2010/01/02/11/62444_201001021103291.thumb.jpg) My mom is crazy for scallops, so I have always had a scallops dish on my menu... just in case she makes a trip from Boston to come eat! This one has got great big scallops in a browned butter sauce with raisins and capers... all sitting on a lovely bed of cauliflower puree. This is the kind of delicious, comforting dish I can just eat over and over again.Whole Fish Baked in a Parsley Salt crust... Simple, healthy even and so good![](/attachments/2010/01/02/11/62444_201001021103292.thumb.jpg)I love chicken and this is a great one. I brine the chickens in a salt, spice & sugar solution so they get nice and crispy and brown. Brining also adds a lot of flavour and keeps the birds juicy.Beef Bourgignon - Beef Short Ribs braised in Red Wine... need I say more?And no bistro menu is complete without Steak Frites... the fries are not pictured here, but we do handcut fries ourselves. The steak is a fantastic cut called a Flatiron which has a lot more flavor and marbling than your average tenderloin or sirloin. We simply topped this one with a slab of garlicky herb butter... :DWe also made several side dishes and desserts which I can post later, but I wanted people to see what bistro cooking is all about and what Umami Concepts does. We did all this an more in less than two weeks and trained the local head chef to keep up the pace. Now I go back to Beijing once a month for 2 days to follow up and make sure that the level of quality is maintained... and I have a great time doing it! 

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Pass me some of that Fried Chicken

Pictures to follow, but I just wanted to share this with y'all... Last night I cooked dinner. I was planning for 10 but 12 showed up whichis fine... no problem. The menu :Fried ChickenButtermilk Biscuits & White GravyCollard Greens & Bacon (well I used )Black-eyes PeasFriends brought some cheese & crackers, ice cream and a few bottles of wine & beers. All together is was a lovely meal and although we all could have eaten more,I think everyone was well fed.What I wanted to share is that I spent hkd$357 at Park n Shop to make my stuff. Thats less that USD$50 to feed 12 people!!! Now I do love good restaurant, but think about this the next time you feel like going to some average restaurant. "Could I do it better at home for less money?"I bet you can.

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More Cooking with Friends

So it was my buddy Brenton's birthday yesterday... so this blog is for him! The following did nto happen yesterday. Actually we did the cooking a couple months ago, but we all know I've got some catching up to do... So Brenton and I thought it would be good to do a bit of a boys night. Hang out, cook steaks & drink red wine. Brenton is an ace cook and has a fully equipped kitchen (not to mention a fantastic wine cellar). He is constantly cutting recipes from the newspaper and trying them out. But tonight we were keeping it simple and classic : Rib eye steaks with bearnaise sauce, macaroni & cheese, braised cabbage & onions, sauteed spinach and roasted potatoes.I got to work on the Mac & Cheese. Macaroni and cheese is something near and dear to my heart.. much like many folks. Back in 2001 I used to work for a chef in NYC named Josh Capon at Canteen down on Mercer & Prince. We had 220 seats and pumped out hearty, honest American fare to beautiful people in SoHo. One of the house faves was our Mac & Cheese. Since then I have been perfecting my recipe and this one we made was about as perfect as you can get... I won't get into the whole method here, but the key unique ingredients are Bacon, Blue Cheese and... Mustard![](/attachments/2009/12/17/10/62444_200912171015281.thumb.jpg)Brenton took charge of the Bearnaise & the Vegetables, knocking out the cabbage, spinach and potatoes in short order. As I mentioned, Brenton is extremely competent in the kitchen, which gives me time to just fuss over the Mac & CheeseAnother one of our friends dropped by to help...Unfortunately, young Tahir can't enjoy any of the food or drink just yet. He usually sticks to stuff like chicken, vegetable and rice... but a great help in the kitchen!We opened up two different Aussie Shiraz and decanted. If anyone is not really familiar with the practice of decanting, it allows to leave any wine sediment that may have formed with age in the bottle and it helps to combine the wine with oxygen which changes the flavor of the wine.http://www.thewinedoctor.com/advisory/openservedecanting.shtmlWith the Veg and Sauce done, the Macaroni baking in the oven and the rest of the boys arrived, it was time to grill the steaks. We were having some pretty thick cuts of meat, so its important to get lots of salt and pepper on the outside and sear them at a very high temp...And at long last, my beautiful 'Blue & Bacon' Mac & Cheese was ready. Crunchy, gooey perfectionThere is something really special about cooking at home. Sure we love to go to retaurants and have great evenings out. But to sit around a table of friends, with good food and drink, and eat and laugh... that is truly one of the greatest joys in life.

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I know its been a while...

I dont even know where to start... And that really is the problem. It has been SO very long since I have added a blog entry that the guilt and shame is actually overshadowed but the fact that I have just SO much to catch you up on... (is that proper grammar?)So this is it, folks. I'm back. I'm blogging.... I'm gonna blog the crap outta this site and then I'm gonna do it some more. I'm making a big stink so that means that i'm gonna have to stick to it. And I fully invite friends, fans and haters to call me out if you don't see a blog for more than 7 days.I may even 'vlog'! This is some cool stuff...So just a quick catch up...I left Zuma last year, opened M1NT Shanghai (to a roaring success I might add) and now I have started my own culinary consulting biz called Umami Concepts (website coming soon!)Here is one of our projects : www.corner-kitchen.comThe next blog post will be a bit more exciting, but just so y'all know...I'M BACK!!!

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Cookin with Calvin Ku

so its saturday night... and i just got back to zuma after spending a few hours in the kitchen of HALO with Calving Ku, the exec chef of HALO (amongst other things.)

we are getting ready for the alive not deadone year anniversary party, making about 1200 pieces of snacks for our artists to enjoy... =) so far the menu is:

 * tomato, shiso & lime bruschetta * grilled chicken with barley miso * scallops, pancetta & nori * soy-soaked tuna & wasabi tobiko * roasted portobello mushrooms with siracha chili * steak & onion sandwich with mustard sauce *

we had a fun afternoon chopping tomatoes and telling stories abot kitchens we've worked in. its always the same when chefs get together... telling warstories about the best and the worst places we've worked.

it reminded me of a lot of stories, which i hope to get around to telling you... but its 6pm on saturday night and it looks like we're in for a busy one at the restaurant...

can't wait to see you all tomorrow night!

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Finally on AnD!

i met the boys and girls of Alive Not Dead just over a year ago...

right before the launch of the site i guess. since then i've had

the privilege of watching the site grow... all the while saying,

"Pat... i'll put up my profile next week, honest!"

anyway, i've always thought of cooking as more of a craft than

an art, but there is a certain artistry in making restaurants

and the dining experience... hopefully i'll get a chance to explore

that here on AnD.

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Dan Segall

Chef

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School Syracuse University
Languages Spoken english
Location Hong Kong
Gender male