Tantric India Bistro Perfectly Balances Traditional and Modern Indian Cuisine
Indian food restaurants are few and far between across the city of Boston, but Downtown Boston residents have quick access to one of the best in Tantric India Bistro. Located at 123 Stewart Street, Tantric is a convenient place to stop for a meal after a day of shopping in Downtown Crossing or a walk through the Common. The restaurant’s decor is casual yet sophisticated, with a mixture of traditional and more modern Indian prints adorning the walls. The guests are dressed in their business casual best, but the large groups laugh and chat and are welcome to stay awhile. And with an extensive menu of small plate options, Tantric has many dishes for every palate.
After looking over the menu and making a mental note of what I wanted to order for the evening (note: pretty much everything), I started off with an order of cilantro naan. No Indian restaurant experience is complete without naan, and Tantric’s clay oven baked bread was fantastic, warm and soft. Their naan menu is buildable, so there’s the option to order it plain, with spices such as garlic, cilantro, or rosemary, or with a variety of dips on the side. Part of me wanted to get one of each, but I thought it best to save my appetite.
Much time and consideration went into determining which small plates I wanted to order, but I finally decided upon a traditional butter chicken dish and a more experimental Indian pizza. The friendly and attentive waitress also helped me pick out a glass of wine that would pair well with the flavors of both dishes.
The Indian pizza arrived first, and looked much like a traditional cheese pizza. However, Tantric’s take on pizza had some distinct differences. The crust was made of naan and the sauce contained cilantro and other Indian spices rather than Italian spices. The cheese on top contained a mixture of mozzarella and pepper jack, which provided a little extra kick. The portion was large enough to satisfy as a light meal, but also left room for those who favor a heavier meal. Overall, this unique pizza was tasty and satisfying.
Next came the butter chicken, which comprised of chicken cooked and served in a tikka masala butter sauce with a side of rice. The difference between regular tikka masala sauce and butter sauce is that the butter sauce is slightly richer and creamier. Tantric’s butter chicken is the perfect dish for anyone who loves rich sauces and doesn’t care about their arteries. The creamy tomato base paired perfectly with the coriander and tumeric used to season the sauce. I was torn between finishing it all in one sitting because it was so delicious and taking half of it home so that I could eat it two days in a row. I ultimately finished all the butter chicken at the restaurant, and I was sure to savor every moment of it. This dish is one of the few I would recommend to anyone I know, as it definitely made a lasting impression and assured that I would visit Tantric again.
Tantric India Bistro is one of Downtown Boston’s restaurant gems. Offering an extensive menu of both modern and traditional Indian cuisine, anyone from the most adventurous to the most picky eaters can find a dish to suit them. Perfect for a casual lunch or dinner with friends, it’s a must-visit spot for Downtown residents.