Tiki TNT names Steve Y. Kim executive chef

New menu reflects Kim’s origins, culinary creativities combining Korean influence, island flavors

Tiki TNT at the Wharf DC has a new executive chef in Steve Y. Kim, who had hosted several pop-up dinners at the waterfront island-vibe bar and eatery. Now, the menu will combine Kim’s Korean background and culture into new dishes that also reflect island-vibrant flavors and robust tastes.

Kim’s background includes graduating with top honors from the Culinary Institute of America. At Kith/Kin, he enjoyed working with Kwame Onwuachi, the executive chef and James Beard Award winner, and learned to adopt his own native culture in the dishes he served here. His style combines Korean fare with American styles and techniques, noted a Tiki TNT announcement.

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After Kith/Kin, Kim started hosting pop-ups around Metro-Washington, DC. Eventually, he ended up hosting dinners at Todd Thrasher’s island bar. Thrasher is a passionate gin maker and owner of Potomac Distilling Co. and Tiki TNT. Kim’s position became permanent in September, and he transitioned from guest chef to executive chef.

Chef Kim has made the menu his own, after months of testing and perfecting. The style combines the authenticity of certain cuisines with a playful interpretation by the chef.

New Tiki TNT menu

  • The Fried Whole Snapper is not an average fish dish as it is seasoned with housemade duck sauce, cilantro rice, adobo broccoli, and Hawaiian rolls
  • The Kalua Pork layers roasted pork, dandelion greens, coconut lime rice, and grilled pineapple salsa
  • Curry Crab Cake is a nod to the Mid-Atlantic region, but is set apart with curry infused into the cake and refreshing arugula, conveying a more global take, all served alongside a mac salad
  • The Gooseberry Salad reflects a juxtaposition of sweet and salty in this combination of caramelized pearl onions, gooseberries, Szechuan pork, gremolata, and coconut milk vinaigrette
  • The Pork Belly dish, both crispy and fatty, is drenched in a honey chili glaze, scallions and sesame seeds.
  • An original, the Spam Musubi is a dish of grilled Spam with egg, sushi rice, and nori
  • For vegetarians and guests with plant-forward leanings, there’s the Eggplant Katsu with Fried Eggplant, Tiki mumbo sauce, edamame, and coconut lime rice; and the ever-popular Tiki Tots, elevated with Pepper Jack cheese, ‘Tiki de Gallo,’ cilantro, and TNT sauce.
  • T’s Smash Burger tops a patty with American cheese, red onion, lettuce, and TNT sauce.
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Tiki TNT, 1130 Maine Avenue Southwest, Washington, DC 20024

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