Nobody's been to Sway yet, eh?
- popvulture Dec 16, 2012 12:47 PM
I figured I'd let the opening hoopla cool down a little bit before going myself, but I'm surprised that nobody's posted about it on here yet. Any reviews?
My girlfriend and I went on Saturday evening, sat at the bar overlooking the kitchen.
We got there early in the evening, approximately 6:30 before the restaurant was full. It is a beautiful restaurant, though a bit loud.
We ordered the prawn miange, jungle curry and blue crab fried rice. We got our fried rice ahead of our appetizer and our drinks, soon our appetizer followed and seconds later our curry arrived. I guess it could be a result of the restaurant not being full yet, but the quickfire coursing was a little out of whack.
The food was wonderful, though the jungle curry was very spicy. We ordered sticky rice with our curry, but they don't serve the rice in any sort of container, so it dries out if you don't eat it quickly.
Definitely some quirks to work out (the girl working the salt and pepper fry station seemed not to know what she was doing, it was painful to watch her butcher a whole lobster).
We'll be back, may give them a month or two to get their footing.
We ate there two nights ago. The spring rolls were interesting, containing unusual ingredients like sprouts and avocado, but they were bland and messy; falling apart on touch. The jungle curry was indeed hot, flavorful but skimpy; it contained two small pieces of beef, three thin slices of zuccini, two baby corn, and that was it. I didn't count the two peppers and one sprig of peppercorns as they were more like a garnish.
Tonight I ate at Suzy's on Anderson. Got the grilled shrimp special, with noodles and veggies. Twelve shrimp, about a dozen pieces of well cooked broccoli, some cauliflower, snow peas, carrots, water chestnuts, etc. In a sauce that was hot but did not overwhelm the flavor of fresh basil. Looked pretty enough to put on the cover of a magazine. Enough to take some home for lunch tomorrow. Priced less. Just saying
Is the Suzy's on Anderson owned by someone different than the Suzy's that used to be on Bee Caves Road? Because every meal I had at the Bee Caves location (and, unfortunately, there were several) was really bad. As in, I'd rather eat at the Chinese place in the mall food court bad.
Went again late yesterday afternoon. Wasnt totally packed as it was like 4 pm, but our food still took about 35 minutes from the time we ordered and a couple of the dishes never arrived and we just cancelled them. The spicing and sauces were all on point yesterday, however the cooking on some of the proteins was sloppy. I really want this place to be good, but right now its a lot more hype than substance in my mind. They have a great space and competent leadership so I have hope that it will all get worked out. Lot of potential here.
Had lunch there the week it opened and was blown away. The son-in-law, the wings, chicken fried rice and the green beans. All fantastic and even better when we brought them home and ate the leftovers. For two of us, the portions were plenty for two servings each.
I also tried the drinking vinegar and have a new favorite soft-drink.
I went for lunch last week and was sufficiently enthusiastic that we booked New Year's Eve dinner there. Had the raw oysters megachef, green papaya salad, peanut curry, and the tiger cry; splurged for dessert with the thai tea affogado and the tapioca pudding. Everything was outstanding. I've had a couple of good dishes at Spin, but based on my first visit to Sway, Sway beats Spin hands down, in my opinion. No wait at lunch time, which was nice, but I imagine it gets really loud when the place is full.
I went today. I got the tiger cry and hubs got the green curry. I'd call it a flavor assault. Smallish portions, but we were plenty full. I liked the aggressive, complex layers both in texture (fried mint, bitter greens, perfectly cooked beef, and a tart, spicy vinaigrette with a chili paste on the side). However, hubs' green curry is probably much too hot for most folks. He can eat habaneros like pickles and he barely ate half of his and he had an unsettled stomach for several hours.
It was what I'd call "gourmet" Thai. I can see this place doing well. However, given that it's a long drive for us and lunch was $50, it's probably off our list.
So I finally went today for lunch, and it was great.
Two friends and I shared the chicken wings and shumai for appetizers, and the Son in Law, Jungle Curry and Pad Thai for entrees.
Nothing came in any particular order... it would've been nice if the appetizers came out first so that we could start things off at a slightly slower pace and had a little more time to think about/enjoy them. That said, it's only a minor complaint.
Chicken wings- tasty, but the only thing out of our selection that I probably wouldn't order again. There certainly wasn't anything to complain about, but they just weren't anything exciting.
Shumai- very, very good. I was really surprised by these, as I was honestly expecting something a little more run of the mill. Great seafood flavor, nice accent from the roe, great dipping sauce.
Son In Law- probably my favorite. Very rich... the pork shoulder was fantastic, and the crispy farm egg was a bit of a cross between a soft boiled ramen egg and a scotch egg.
Jungle Curry- very, very tasty. It was nowhere near as hot as I was expecting (probably about 50% as hot as the hottest item on Sap's menu)... but it had a wonderfully complex flavor and the beef was nearly melting.
Pad Thai- I could've passed on this, but one of my friends wanted to get it... it turned out to be probably the best PT I've had in town. It wasn't disgustingly orange like I've had it at other places here... light with a surprisingly present citrus flavor.
So, not much detail here, but overall I'd say yes, highly recommended! It's a welcome addition to our scene, in my opinion.
I went again on a Friday night at prime-time with mt husband and another couple. This experience was less pleasing than the last.
The hostess staff seemed permanently perplexed.
Our wait was about an hour which was to be expected, however, it was a rainy night and there was no good place to wait it out. We ended up walking over to Elizabeth St. Cafe and sitting on their front porch. We'd have gotten drinks there but couldn't figure out how to order them so we gave up.
Went back to Sway, couldn't get to the bar to order or get a menu. So we stood around awkwardly.
When we finally did get our table, we had a really hard time hearing each other. My husband pretty much ended up left out of the conversation. The woman on the bench next to him kept bumping into him and taking up way more than her fair share so that was an annoyance.
Two of us wanted to split a bottle of wine, two were going for separate drinks. The server took the wine order and then just started to walk off. We grabbed her to get in the other orders, but sheesh.
We ordered a lot of food: prawn miange, spring roll, peanut curry, son-in-law, tom kha and yams. For dessert, the panna cotta and the tea avogado.
I really liked the prawn miange, but it was really intense. Every flavor and texture under the sun at once, so it would be easy to get confused.
The spring roll was really good which surprised me. I would never have picked that on my own, but it was very fresh and herby and the tomato jam that came with it? That may have been the best thing we ate all night. They should bottle that and sell it.
The peanut curry was disappointing. Just kind of meh. The Tom Kha was delicious. I would have eaten the whole bowl by myself if it weren't rude to do so. Son in law was still delicious, and the yams. Holy hell, those blew me away.
So all-in-all, I think there are still a lot of kinks to work out, but I liked the food.
Sway is upscale fusion Thai. I have only been once. The portions are small and the prices are high. The place was packed with people and as loud as a firecracker. They offer oysters on the half shell at three dollars a piece. Imported from Prince Edward Island. That is 36 dollars a dozen.
Gulf oysters are in season. Pappadeaux's has a Monday thru Thursday special for $5.95 a dozen. Sway is nice but I do not think it is worth the money.
Went to Sway on what I hope is the busiest they get (2 hour wait). Food was delicious, portions were generous, service was enthusiastic.
Everything hit the table at approximately the same time and we shared everything family style: prawn miange, shu mai, jungle curry, pad thai, son in law, and blue crab fried rice. Shared the banana split for dessert.
I went in having been warned that it was Dallas-esque. This was not true. Everything was great. Absolutely exceeding my expectations. Resplendent dishes. Vibrant, fresh, bright, and citrus flavors trading off with sumptuous, hearty flavors. Exceptional balance to everything. I should probably go into depth on the specific dishes before I forget them. Maybe later.
On top of that, the prices were on the high end of fair, but certainly not fiendish. Approximately $35 per person total.
The only drawback is that this place is absolutely not a secret. We didn't have to wait there (ran the clock out at a friend's house a block away) which would have been obnoxious given the bruising throng. If not for that convenience, I would definitely not have waited.
Reading the other reviews of Sway on Chowhound Austin, I have to think they've worked out some of the kinks reported on this and other threads. The only thing that they're obviously still quite bad at is dealing with the bone crushing demand. Then again, maybe that had something to do with it being graduation weekend for UT.
Better than expected; a pleasant surprise given what I had heard.
I went in August 2013 and I was disappointed. My son summed it up well - "The flavors were over-the-top and overwhelming, hard to enjoy". I thought each dish seemed like the sauces had been reduced too long on the stove. The flavors seemed too salty, too spice and muddled - like bad indonesian food. On the upside, I thought the service was excellent, the communal tables were gorgeous and the dishes were presented well. Maybe we went on an off night. Sounds like it.
I'm not sure judging other people's complaints really serves a purpose here. Everyone has different experiences in even the best of restaurants.
I love intense flavor. Have you eaten Rijsttafel in Amsterdam? which will blow your mind away with intensity. For me, Sway's sauces were just salty and messy - no layers, no nuance. I'm glad you like Sway. As I said, it was probably an off night.
I know what you mean - I've (at least in my opinion) experienced over the top flavor without "backbone." Not to incite any flame wars, but that's much the way I felt about Titiaya's. Granted, I've only been there 6 or 7 times.......never been to Sway. Might take my 80 year old thai friend to "see it." Shu Mai? Who the hell is General Chong? It that General Tso's cousin?