Beware of spice…
I’ve been to Sway a couple of times now but recently went with a large group of friends for a birthday party. I was able to eat A LOT of courses, so I figured it would be a good idea to rate and review the meal.
I’m going to list out the dishes we ate and individually talk about them, then at the end talk overall about the meal, so if you just want to know my overall opinion, just scroll down to the bottom :).
Our “Chef’s Menu” included:
“Po Pea Jay,” which is a vegetable spring roll with avocado, garlic, mint, vermicelli noodles, and grapefruit.
It was extremely similar to the spring rolls you would find in the sushi section of Whole Foods, which I love, but had a more upscale aspect with the tomato vinegar jelly sauce. It was a really great appetizer and got me hyped for the rest of the food, especially since I wasn’t super hungry when I first sat down.
Next was the “Prawn Miange,” which was a betel leaf, toasted coconut and cashews, lime, fresno chile, and grapefruit.
This dish was sooooo delicious!!! I really enjoyed using my hands to wrap up the leaf with all the great ingredients inside. The textures and flavors fit so well together: the crunchy coconut and cashews helped offset the soft leaf and chewy shrimp and the acidity of the grapefruit was the perfect addition to the dish.
I was genuinely surprised and excited by this appetizer! It was one of my favorites of the night, and I would definitely order it again!!
The Satay came next: charcoal grilled pork with a “kewpie” mayo, satay sauce, toasted peanut, and cilantro.
Pork can often be really chewy and tough, but this was the opposite. The meat was perfectly cooked and seasoned with a great charred flavor, and the sauce balanced it out well.
Nothing too special about this dish, but it was another great appetizer with really great flavor. I would also order this dish again!
The last appetizer: “Salt+Pepper Tofu.” The dish lightly seasoned with, you guessed it, salt and pepper, along with thai sambal, crispy garlic, and cilantro.
I’m gonna be honest, I’m really not a fan of tofu. I definitely see the benefits of eating it and could see how it would be delicious, but it isn’t really my cup of tea.
However, I loved this dish! The tofu was really light and surprisingly flavorful especially when paired with the sauce. Would I order it again, probably not, but to any tofu lover, I definitely recommend it!
Where sh*t hit the fan: “Peanut Curry.” Sway cured chicken, red chili, peppercorn, toasted peanut, baby corn, and slow-roasted egg.
I would like to start by saying this dish is incredibly misleading. The only thing on the menu where one could infer it’s spicy is the “red chili.” There is no heat scale, no warning, and even when looking at the dish, the red pepper flakes are the only warning sign before you take a huge, soon to be regretted bite.
It was by far one of the spiciest dishes I’ve ever eaten. Yes, I am not a fan of spice in general, but all 10 girls at the table were complaining, many even getting inflamed lips and beads of sweat just from a few bites. The server eventually brought out coconut cream to offset the spice, but it was still hardly edible. I guess looking back on it, I’m confused why they would make a dish so spicy, especially when it was the MILDEST curry on the menu!!!!! It was sad too because the chicken (next to the spoon in picture) was so well cooked and had great flavor (by itself), but it was slathered in the flaming hot curry :(.
Before we had even recovered from the curry, the next dish arrived: “Brussel Sprouts” with fermented bean and garlic.
If you didn’t notice, chili flakes coat the brussel sprouts… another warning sign?
Yup. More spice. We hadn’t even recovered yet! They had really great flavor and were perfectly cooked, but they were just like Hot Cheetos, once you eat one, you can’t stop or else all the spice hits. At this point, I was just so overwhelmed from spice and was even starting to fill up, even though we had 3 more dishes to go…
“Pad Thai Kung”: rice noodle, blue prawn, tofu, egg, toasted cashew, bean sprout, thai basil.
More chili flakes… I only had a few bites just so I could try it, and yes, there was great flavor, but way too much spice to really enjoy it, especially after the two previous dishes.
The dish was well seasoned (besides the spice) and had a lot of great textures from the addition of peanuts and well-cooked shrimp, but it was hard to enjoy because of the heat. I, personally, was trying to save room for the next two dishes so didn’t eat much of this, but besides the spice, everyone really enjoyed the dish.
Best of the night. by far!!! “Son in Law”: crispy farm egg, braised pork shoulder, thick soy, nahm prik pla.
This dish was insane. By far the best of the night, and I would definitely return just to eat it again. It was such a comfort-food bowl with a nice/elegant flair and everyone was drooling as soon as we saw the soft egg. The proportion of egg to pork to rice to herbs was perfect, the presentation was beautiful (I mean look. at. that) and as soon as we mixed it together, each bite had loads of flavor and great texture. The sauce completely reminded me of eating a bowl of ramen, it had the exact same delicious flavor, and it stuck to the sticky rice perfectly. The pork was so tender and melted in my mouth, and the soft egg flavor only enhanced the amazing sauce flavor.
10/10 dish and honestly just writing about it right now makes me want to favor it asap haha.
Lastly, we finished off the night with the “Banana Split” (milk chocolate, 5 spice, condensed milk & cashew caramel swirl ice cream, black sesame brownie, candied cashew, coconut milk jam, cherries, bananas, whipped cream), which was a typical one on crack…
Guys. This dessert was crazy. It’s pretty hard to tell from the picture, but it was layers upon layers of ice cream, brownie, nuts, sauces, and bananas. Each ingredient had a complex flavor profile, the “black sesame” brownie along with sweetened condensed milk and cashew caramel ice cream was such a good combo! It claims to feed 3-4, but honestly if you’re still hungry by the end of the meal (or another section of your stomach opens like mine happened to) you could probably down almost all of it by yourself.
Lastly, I have to talk about how good the Thai Tea was. I had two throughout the coarse of the meal, and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. They added cinnamon, clove, and star anise spices to the black tea and condensed milk, which added great flavor. The condensed milk also helped soothe my tongue after eating the spicy dishes. I would definitely order it next time!
All in all, it was a really great meal, but for the amount of spice in the 3 entree dishes and the price of the meal, I had to rate it lower than expected. Don’t come for me if this is your favorite restaurant, I still really enjoyed the meal and will definitely come back for the couple dishes I absolutely loved! Unfortunately, because I went with a large party and was able to try such a wide variation of dishes, there were a lot I wouldn’t have ordered on my own, and therefore, I would’ve ended up giving Sway a higher rating.
Let me know if you guys end up or have tried Sway before and what your thoughts were, and please reach out if you know anywhere you’d like me to try next!