Westlake restaurant, Sway puts a modern spin on classic Thai cuisine

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Sway’s modern Thai menu combines tradition with innovation, according to co-owner Patrick Jeffers, who said he believes in taking creative liberties while still drawing from core flavors.

The West Lake Hills restaurant, also co-owned by hospitality and restaurant company New Waterloo, opened Dec. 5 2018, making it Sway’s third location in the Austin area.

Restaurants and hospitality  go hand in hand, so diners should anticipate an immersive experience at Sway, Jeffers said.

He called the restaurant a “getaway” when describing its sleek but warm atmosphere and rooftop views of the Austin skyline.

“We’re trying to create experiences,” Jeffers said, adding he hopes the restaurant can add something special to the neighborhood.

The menu was created in 2013 as a collaboration between New Waterloo and chef Rene Ortiz. Jeffers said the inspiration for the menu came from the Thai food scene in Australia, where the cuisine is omnipresent.

“I think a lot of the chefs in Australia were taking liberties and trying new things and being innovative with it,” Jeffers said.

Traditional Thai food is prepared by following strict recipes, and Sway’s version of modern Thai puts a new spin on those classic principles, Jeffers said.

Sway has also been creative in its mission of sustainability, per its partnership with The Farm Project.

The Farm Project, created by actress Zooey Deschanel, empowers individuals and restaurants to grow their own food, Jeffers said.

Sway installed vertical grow towers on its rooftop patio, ensuring the freshness of its herbs and vegetables.

“You know what goes into it because you’re controlling it every step of the way,” Jeffers said, adding those ingredients go into some of Sway’s most popular dishes, including the spicy jungle curry; fried rice; and the Son-in-Law, a braised pork shoulder.  “But don’t ever leave here without dessert; they may be my favorite things [on Sway’s menu].”

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