Gallery: First Look: Sway in Austin

Executive chef Rene Ortiz and pastry chef Laura Sawicki
Executive chef Rene Ortiz and pastry chef Laura Sawicki
La Condesa's award winning duo is venturing into an entirely different genre at the newly opened Sway. "It's about culture and fun," explained Ortiz. "We can take old world tradition and bring a new speed...without trying to be molecular puffy pants."
Son in Law ($16)
Son in Law ($16)
Pork shoulder is slowly braised in a sweet soy sauce until it becomes extremely tender. A deep-fried soft boiled farm egg, chili vinegar, and thick soy sauce completes the rice dish.
Salt and Pepper Tofu ($9)
Salt and Pepper Tofu ($9)
A variety of seafood, ranging from lobster to blue prawns, can be ordered "salt + pepper" style. Here, creamy cubes of tofu are battered in cornstarch, fried to a fluffy crisp, dusted with salt and pepper, and rest on a pool of sweet and spicy sambal sauce.
Kai Yaang ($15)
Kai Yaang ($15)
Large pieces of charcoal grilled rotisserie chicken are tossed with an herb salad and loads of fried shallots. If you can take the heat, ask for a side of nam prig pow, their fruity and earthy housemade Thai chili jam.
General Chong’s Quail ($16)
General Chong’s Quail ($16)
Named after Alexis Chong, Sway's chef de cuisine, this saucy dish begs for bowls of steamed rice to soak up all the sauce. Quartered quail pieces are quickly flash-fried, then return to the wok with vegetables and fiery nahm prik pao. Toasted peanuts and basil top off the dish.
Whole Market Fish (market price)
Whole Market Fish (market price)
The fish of the day can be prepared crispy or steamed at Sway. Here, a red snapper is fried, then served whole at the table with Thai sweet chili sauce and jasmine rice. Alternatively, it can be wrapped in banana leaves and herbs, then steamed in a bamboo basket. This is best shared with close friends that don't mind sucking on bones at the table.
XO Mussels ($18)
XO Mussels ($18)
Chef Rene Ortiz makes his own (very labor intensive) XO sauce by first dehydrating crawfish to use in place of dried scallops. The crawfish paste is married with shallots, garlic, herbs, and a variety of chilies. Additional garlic, ginger, lemongrass, sweet onions, and Chinese celery boost the aromatics.
Miso-White Chocolate Semifreddo
Miso-White Chocolate Semifreddo
Pastry chef Laura Sawicki of La Condesa fame merges traditional Asian elements with modern pastry-making techniques. She transforms tropical and earthy ingredients into powders, gels, crisps, and other playful textures. This velvety miso-white chocolate semifreddo is loaded with umami. The citrusy mango-calamansi sorbet cuts through the semifreddo's creaminess. A black sesame sauce and the fluffy crispy rice powder add nuttiness to the dessert.
Sway's Interior
Sway's Interior
Communal tables with benches make up the bulk of the seating at Sway. Dining with strangers and sharing dishes among friends are encouraged.