Belcher rounded up a handful of people to go to dinner before we went to SuperGreat and OrrmanRyan’s wedding reception. She had seen this Tantra place over in Davenport and thought we should try it out. I was told to be there at 5:30, which I should have known, given who was coming, that that would mean after 6. Didn’t matter, I knew it was going to end up being a long night of revelry, so I got there at the appointed time and prepared to do some pre-drinking. I also sent a text or two reminding people we said 5:30 and some certain people hadn’t left the house quite yet… nice…
The place is really quite nice inside. I was here was it was two different restaurants and none of them looked this nice. Very impressive.
The hostess picked out a table for 6 in the back of the restaurant and I looked at the drink menu, which was really impressive for this town. 15 different Asian beers and lots of “beginner” wines priced reasonably – Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Reisling, Moscato d’Asti, Zin, Pinot Grigio, Merlot. The waitress came back and asked me if I needed anything. I scored a Lychee Martini, complete with two lychees on the umbrella and everything!
The waitress came back a couple of times to keep me company. She was hilarious. We crap-talked the late people and discussed the benefits of an open bar and taking advantage of drinking at a restaurant before the open bar event. No one knew if the reception would be an open bar and I wasn’t willing to take a chance – I had packed three flasks with me for the event. And it didn’t hurt she was … uh… easy on the eyes… and fun to gab with while sitting by myself.
JoMomma and Mr. Burns showed up just before 6 and he announced where people would be sitting (he’s 4). The waitress said she was going to sit down and play with his action figures he brought and he said, “No. Belcher will be sitting in that seat.” Burn. Belcher showed up about 6 and then Trey-Lo and CareBear showed up after 6. Right on time for them, believe me.
The menu had a ton of good things on it. Some distinctly Thai dishes, but some fried rice and other unique things as well. Lots to choose from, including some good appetizers. I ordered fresh summer rolls, Trey-Lo ordered Thai Jerky, and JoMomma ordered fried spring rolls for Mr. Burns’ dinner.
The dishes came out and looked wonderful. The fresh summer rolls were really good (though there was an issue with one of them, which didn’t get eaten – no worries though). The hoisin sauce was fantastic and peanutty. The jerky was actually really tasty. It had this spicy dipping sauce that added some kick to it. And Mr. Burns ate a couple of fried spring rolls and got full.
And I needed another drink, so I went with a Mango Martini. Since Mr. Burns was bored, we played with the toys he brought. This picture pretty much sums it up. Martini and Star Wars guys – winning combination.
I ordered the Singapore Street Noodles, and the waitress told me those were great for breakfast. I commented to the table in an obviously loud whisper that the waitress just invited back to her place for the evening and would make me breakfast in the morning. She blushed and started cracking up. I am pretty hilarious. Belcher ordered some bird’s nest deal, CareBear ordered the pad thai, JoMomma ordered some spicy pepper dish with chicken, and Trey-Lo ordered the green curry. Everyone’s food looked really good, impressive even!
My food was really good. Lots of noodles and some cabbage, tomatoes, and carrots. Really quite good. The bird’s nest thing was a noodle-based dish with some hard boiled quail eggs. Few people were adventurous enough to eat them, so I ended up with them. They weren’t bad, just odd, but the food itself was good and came in a sopapilla-type bread bowl. The spicy pepper dish was good, but not amazing. I ended up finishing CareBear’s pad thai, so I know that was good. I usually order it spicy, so this was a little on the mild side for me, but still really good. But Trey-Lo had the winning dish – the green curry was one of the best I’ve ever had. She thought there were too many green peppers in it, but I thought it was perfect, especially with the coconut milk and egg plant in there. Tons of flavor.
While we were eating, a frat boy in an Iowa State coat (but shorts and flip flops) (it was freezing outside) sat down with his hot Asian girlfriend. The guy was a tool. He blew out the candle on the table and laughed like a doosh – she yelled at him. He stole the umbrella out of her drink and laughed like a doosh – she yelled at him. He talked loudly on his cell phone with his elbow up in the air, insulted his girlfriend, and laughed like a doosh – she yelled at him. It was infuriating.
The waitress eventually brought out a lava cake for me, to make up for the slight problem with the summer roll. I told her she didn’t have to do that, but she insisted. It wasn’t even a huge deal, but she was making sure I wasn’t offended or thought less of the place – which I didn’t. The food was fantastic. I then asked her if this was to seal the deal on me coming home with her, and she blushed again…. BUT she didn’t say “no”… I’ll take that as a sign (one that I didn’t follow up on, as usual). I’m not much of a cake eater, but I didn’t mention that. I shared the love since she brought out 6 spoons as well. I’m pretty sure everyone got a bite, including me, so we were all REALLY full when we left the place.
Go to this place. I don’t want it to close like the other places that have been here. It is great food, and a great drink list, and super fun staff.
Top 5 things about Tantra
1. Green Curry – without a doubt
2. Singapore Street Noodles
3. Super fun waitress who took my abuse
4. Great wine/drink list
5. I have the greatest most fun friends in the world
Bottom 5 things
1. Gerd loved Asian food of any kind and would have been super happy going here and hanging out with our friends
2. Mr. Burns and I kept getting shushed for having too much fun – geeeesh, mom…
3. Mango Martini wasn’t the greatest martini in the world – I should have gotten the Mai Thai that CareBear got
4. Iowa State D-bag
5. I need to give the Fresh Summer Rolls another try where I get to actually eat all of them