Chic Décor and Sophisticated Bites Make TBD… a Waikīkī Standout
(Sponsored) Every dish on chef Garg’s menu starts with European DNA, elevated with a fusion of international flavors.
It started as a pop-up, but the cheekily named TBD…, located on Kalākaua Avenue (past the Waikīkī Strip, closer to Diamond Head) inside the Lotus Honolulu hotel, is now a mainstay featuring artfully crafted dishes by chef and culinary master Vikram Garg. There, Garg uses his 26-plus years of experience in fine dining and international travel to create dishes that are elevated, eclectic and globally influenced.
At a TBD…By VIkram Garg dine-in dinner a couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to finally try chef Garg’s tasting menu—something I’d wanted to experience since last year—plus a lineup of appetizers, all of which had me leaving my tastebuds happy and my stomach round.
TBD…’s four-course tasting menu ($69 to $79, additional $49 for wine pairing) includes your choice of starter, soup or salad, entrée and a dessert. First up were the appetizers: ‘ahi and beef tartare, foie gras gyoza and baked shrimp “á la escargot.” If I must leave you with one piece of wisdom, it is this: Get the gyoza. Savory, sating and complemented by the sweetness of caramelized onions and a reduced port sauce, this dish was rich without feeling too heavy. The ‘ahi and beef tartare (served with a giant shrimp chip and baguette crisps, respectively) were vividly fresh and light, and the shrimp “escargot,” which, surprisingly, did taste very similar to the classic dish, but with a more tender, briny bite.
Scallops risotto was the chosen entrée dish, and I would order it again and again. Risotto can be deceptively challenging to make right (don’t believe me? Try making a pot of rice sans rice cooker), but TBD…’s version—topped with a seared whole scallop—was a creamy, cheesy, al dente bowl of comfort.
The evening ended with two desserts. The croque-en-bouche were delicate and surprisingly light, filled with banana cream and drizzled with caramel sauce. The mango kulfi was a beautifully plated dish featuring mango yogurt in a white chocolate shell.