My first visit to Swanya Thai turned out well, with lovely service, a clean open dining area, and food that was tasty and served generously. Since I had not brought my camera, I decided to go back and try them again, getting take out food so I could write a post about them with photos.

I was looking forward to a good meal, but I was hugely disappointed when I bit into an egg roll; they were undercooked to the point that the wrapper was elastic instead of crisp. The filling of carrots, celery and cabbage was crunchy and would have been good if it had not been over salted. For $5.50 this would have been a bargain, but it only if they had cooked and seasoned the rolls properly.

The most successful dish was the Pad Woon Sen for $7.95. You can order it with any protein you prefer, with prices adjusted accordingly. I chose tofu because I had ordered a beef dish and wanted this as my vegetable/starch dish. The flavors were good in this, but again the skill of the kitchen (or lack thereof) showed through with slices of celery stalk that were bigger than my fingers and clumps of egg (which you can see in the photo).

The dish I had the first time was the Crying Tiger Beef for $8.95. I was so impressed by the moist and succulent beef that I ordered the dish again to write about it. Sadly this tasted nothing like the beef I had tried the first time. The meat was so dry and tough that I ended up throwing it out (even if I had a dog, I’m not sure I would have subjected an animal to this dish). The spicy sauce was very good, but even using all of it to try to reconstitute the beef did not help this dish.

I am sad to have found my second foray to Swanya so disappointing, perhaps the regular chef was off that night or they changed chefs. I’m hoping it was just an off night, but when a restaurant’s food quality declines rather than improves on a subsequent visit, it does not bode well. I hope that they bring their food up to the level of their lovely service and decor; after all we go out to dinner for the food, not just the ambiance.

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