For months, Brenna and I wondered what the heck that pink flower meant. Elizabeth Street and Gourdough's are its restaurant neighbors down on First Street, but the ominous black building's store front remained unmarked.
Recently, from word of mouth, I learned that the building was, in fact, a restaurant! Of course I had to check it out.
, a modern Thai restaurant, brings a funky twist to a traditional style. The community tables gave the restaurant a cozy vibe, although Brenna and I were extremely frustrated that the majority of tables were reserved for parties of 10+ guests (their only call-ahead policy). I also loved the zen garden/wrap-around patio.
After thirty minutes of sipping on Asian beer and people watching, we snagged two seats at the bar. And thank goodness we did, because a two hour wair was not working for my appetite. Get ready to wait, people.
I have always believed that Austin lacks in the Asian cuisine (outside of the hip sushi and Japanese styles). At Sway, they really work to provide a menu of traditional flavors and savory sauces that remind me of my favorite Chinese restaurant in Memphis.
But Sway takes it up a notch, of course. Their diverse menu (and not-too-expensive prices) could please almost anyone!
We started with po-pea jay, also known as rice paper spring rolls with avocado and vegetables. So fresh. My favorite part was the sweet and sour sauce on the side!
You've gotta order the shu mai. It's made to order, and texture of the dumpling wrap with a crunch of cold cucumber is divine. The steamed dumplings are filled with a mixture of crab, shrimp and trout. And, again, this sauce is delicious, even though it's a bit spicier than I expected.
Not pictured is the traditional pad thai, made with HUGE blue prawns (almost like little lobsters), tofu, egg, cashew and bean sprout. The amount of peanut sauce was just right (I usually have to ask for an extra side at other restaurants to avoid dryness). I loved Spay's spin on the dish.
You also won't find the blue crab fried rice anywhere else. Giant pieces of crabmeat, snow peas, egg, thai basil. We didn't leave any leftovers...let's just put it that way.
Go try Sway on South First when you have some time on your hands, and let me know what you think!