I have noticed from riding down Broughton Street many times the wonderful red lanterns that hang from the ceiling of the Tantra Lounge & Tapas restaurant, and frankly, this has been the number one attraction that peaked my curiosity to check it out.
Early last night I went there and by the way, the lanterns are just as wonderful inside as the view from outside. The décor is sparse but I liked it. They have a wonderful bar space, but I do wish the wooden structure that holds the bottles behind the bar were painted a bright red to carry your eyes from the lovely red lanterns around the room better. So, visually, improvements could be made to increase the ‘eye’ traffic. They do have a nice sitting area for casual conversation that I am sure is packed on the weekends, but this was during the week and pretty early, so not many people were there.
The menu consists of Asian-influenced Tapas items, which sounded good to me. I love Thai and Vietnamese food so this should be a win-win situation, right?….well, maybe not quite right. I had the Nam Sod which I am a huge fan of, if it is authentic. The problem with Tantra’s Nam Sod is that it did not taste like Nam Sod should taste. I think that most people that are not too familiar with Thai food would not recognize the difference, but I have worked with a Thai chef and have worked at a Thai restaurant – so, authentic Thai food – I do know…at this was not. In fact, it was not even close. This was a poor attempt on their part to make a traditional Thai dish without the traditional ingredients and pass it off to unsuspecting diners as the ‘real deal’.
Other dishes that were had by my group were the Crispy Calamari, which was good Calamari, but nothing to write home about and the sauce that was served with it was not that tasty. We also had the Bo Kho’, the Vietnamese style beef stew, which was wonderful. I think out of all the dishes this was the best and most satisfying. I am not very familiar with the traditional Bo Kho’ so as the ‘unsuspecting diner’ that I was, I would have to assume it was the ‘real deal’. Lastly, my “American” food lover of the group had the Mini Angus Burgers, which actually fell into a close second behind the Bo Kho’ – they were yummy…then again, not hard to mess this one up I suppose.
Overall, Tantra Lounge & Tapas was ok. I think visually it is very exciting. They have some great live music and the overall atmosphere is nice. I think they could do some improvements with the food, but that is just my opinion, although, in their name…Tantra Lounge & Tapas…if their food was really the focus, Tapas would be before Lounge – it is obvious what their target is, and that, they do alright with.
Tantra Lounge & Tapas –8 East Broughton Street–Savannah GA 31401