Thai Tantric may sound like a venue for naughty business, especially since it's located in the recesses of the seedy Orchard Towers, but it's really simply another eatery for cheap and good Thai food. Amongst diners of the ilk scattered along the dingy halls of Orchard Towers, Thai Tantric seems the most popular. There's usually a queue for tables, and the wait for food takes inordinately long as well. I'm not entirely convinced that the long waiting times are justified by the standard of the Thai cuisine served at Thai Tantric; Sapunsa is of equal standing and Jane Thai Food isn't too shabby either.
For those unfamiliar with Orchard Towers, head to the 3rd floor and follow the pungent scent of fish sauce. Your nose should lead you to Thai Tantric, tucked away in a decrepit corner.
The garlic and pepper seasoning on the Moo Tod Kra Theam ($10) chunks of deep fried pork, was wonderfully aromatic, but the pork was fried to oblivion; it was dried out, stringy and tough to chew.
The Paad Kra Pow Moo ($10) of stir-fried minced pork with basil and chilli passed muster, luscious and punchy.
One of two highlights, the Gang Khiao Waan Gai ($10), or green curry chicken, was sumptuous, fiery and elevated by the succulent chicken morsels.
The deceptively clear Tom Yum Goong ($10), Thai spicy and sour soup with prawns, was blazingly spicy, but let down by prawns that were alkali-ed to death. The prawns were bouncy enough, but reeked of the alkali treatment.
The Khao Pad Tom Yum ($6), tom yum flavoured fried rice with chicken, was the other highlight, and a must try here. It was robust, flavourful, and bright with the liberal use of kaffir lime leaves.
Thai Tantric Thai Cuisine
400 Orchard Road #03-23
Tel: 9056 3958 / 8309 3810
Open daily from 11am to 3pm for lunch; 6pm to 3am for dinner & supper