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“Good food but too dark and loud”
Review of Sway

Sway
Ranked #47 of 3,727 Restaurants in Austin
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $80
Cuisines: Thai
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Description: Sway is an award-winning modern Thai restaurant, named one of the '50 Best New Restaurants in America' by Bon Appétit Magazine.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
167 reviews
103 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Good food but too dark and loud”
Reviewed September 9, 2013

The wife and I came here to celebrate her birthday on a Wednesday evening. They have valet parking but I found it pretty easy to find free street parking right around the corner.

Fortunately we got seats at the counter looking into the kitchen so we were able to watch the food being prepared which, in my opinion makes for a better dining experience. Unfortunately the restaurant was very loud making conversation difficult and then lighting was so low we couldn't read the menus without using our smart phone's flashlight app.

We had tom ka soup, and spring roll appetizers followed by chicken curry and a pork shoulder dish - all were tasty and more then enough for two people. We even had left overs to take home. Since it was my wife's birthday, we were brought some complementary ice cream for desert.

I'd give this place 5 stars if it wasn't so loud and the lighting was better. Also, while the food is good, it's also quite expensive costing $110 for the two of us including tip

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sean C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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323 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ballground, Georgia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Sway is super!”
Reviewed August 26, 2013

Whenever we've passed by Sway it has been packed. So you know it's good right? It is! We had a noodle dish and the spring rolls. Both arrived quickly and had so much flavor. Beautiful presentation and very fresh. The interior of the restaurant has large tables so you will be seated with other parties. There are high stools at bars located along the windows too. Outside seating has the large tables. They have an extensive drink menu including wines, teas and Austin made Kosmic Kombuchas. I'm going back to try their fried rice dishes! MOST importantly: they have a super friendly, menu educated staff. So impressive. (Reservations for large parties only).

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank life-trippin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, TX
Level Contributor
85 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Noisy and trendy, good food, one service hiccup”
Reviewed July 25, 2013

Located on a stretch of South First St. which has come up quite a bit in the past decade, Sway has a definite look and vibe about it that strikes you the moment you walk in, with large wooden tables around which multiple parties are seated, as well as a few smaller, elevated dining platforms. Our party of five was lucky enough to score one of these, as the noise level when the place is full is such that conversation was difficult even in this more intimate setting. (There is also outdoor dining, which presumably would be quieter.)

The menu and drink list are both extensive and chock full of items that aren't offered in a lot of the more basic Thai places in town (many of which, I am bound to say, are very good). Our party tried green curry (sweet and spicy), blue crab fried rice, a chicken stir-fry with Asian pear, and two kinds of pad thai. Our kind and conscientious, though very busy, server explained that dishes would appear as soon as they were cooked and many parties shared--this was okay except that the two pad thai dishes for some reason appeared way after everything else, leaving a couple of people hanging. At any rate the dishes were carefully made and lovingly presented with a nice balance of familiar and unusual flavors.

Thai restaurants aren't usually big on after-meal sweets, but the dessert menu here was so intriguing we tried a couple of items: a sweet banana split with three kinds of house-made ice cream (the caramel was especially delicious) and a tapioca pudding with a welter of accompaniments--avocado ice cream, pureed yuzu (an Asian citrus fruit) and puffed wheat cereal (!) among them. I have to say these desserts were the high point of the meal for me, which made the fact that a busser swept away our dishes before we had quite eaten every bit doubly annoying. If there is one thing I do not like at a pricey establishment it is having food we've paid for taken away before we are finished with it. Please fix this service blot and I'll feel much happier about this place.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kiyoshi T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kensington, Maryland
Level Contributor
201 reviews
153 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Great Spot”
Reviewed July 11, 2013

Tried Sway this week. Fabulous Thai tastes! Great service with knowledgeable staff. Our party of four tried many things on the menu and each one had unique flavors and great presentation. Priced just right and we left full and happy. Not thrilled about the massive family style dining trend when you want to have an more private gathering. We get it but it doesn't always work. No options here. We'd go back to try another 8 or 10 things.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Martin D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abilene, Texas
Level Contributor
42 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Fantastic Food! Fantastic Service!”
Reviewed July 4, 2013

If you love Thai Food, this is a must stop on your next trip to Austin. A great staff helps you choose dishes that will challenge and delight your taste buds. The slow cooked eggs are to die for. Try the Son-In-Law Pork or the Tiger's Bite Steak. Don't skip dessert.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank RLWMommy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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