Swagging Out After Work Hours!
After a long day at work, I am always literally bumped out. It’s about those after work hours that I crave to hunt down a place to chill out and enjoy some familiar classic comfort food. When I heard about SWAG Bar & Grill from a friend Karen, some of us met up there one evening after a horrendous traffic nightmare in PJ area. Located at the PJ Palms Sport Centre which is situated along the famous A&W fast food in State PJ, SWAG Bar & Grill is actually located in the sport centre itself.
Upon arrival at the sport centre, my younger college years suddenly came to mind. Hey, this is where I used to hang out when I was in art school and we use to visit this place and the famous fast food chain to kill time after school. Though management has changed, the place is still pretty much familiar. A large swimming pool is the main attraction at that sport centre and to get to Swag, we had to past the pool. The scene that evening was pretty much soothing with the dark midnight blue sky looming over the pool area. There were quite few people lounging and also swimming and the sound of laughter, water and music calmed me down immediately. As I walked towards Swag, I felt at ease already despite the earlier traffic experience.
It was always a dream to own an eatery cum bar for the owner Sudip Thiagi. Despite his background in other industries, he confessed into the F&B dream and how he wait till the right opportunity and time came up. We met up with him since he knew our friend Karen for an evening of food and chilling out time. When asked why he named his place SWAG, he casually said it came up when they were thinking about names and somehow it got stuck as they were always referring to the place way before it was setup as SWAG. Well indeed, SWAG is an addictive urban word that got many hooked too as it was deemed a pretty cool word when it was created then.
I like SWAG. No frills, minimal décor, low warm lighting and yet utterly comfortable and cool, SWAG is a place one would love to unwind at the end of a long day. Though it doesn’t have the hip hop bling bling swag more connected with its original meaning, SWAG has an inviting appeal to those who are looking for comfort and cool place to dine, drink and chill. SWAG takes up space in a two level building. The level below is a casual dining room while the upper level has an open air rooftop bar that overlooks the city’s night view and sport centre. The dining room is set with cool grey walls while the wood and steel furniture, imported from Philippines, is spaciously set around with some modern art and décor pieces.
SWAG’s menu is pretty much listed on the chalkboard in the dining area. One can order to dine at SWAG dining room or at the bar. Serving up pub grub food with lots of giggle juices, the menu is beautifully comforting with sections of appetizer, burgers, sandwiches, mains, skewers, fish and nachos. Go Wednesdays and its ladies night with specials of all-you-can-drink cocktails promotion between 7pm to 10pm. Needless to say, we started the evening with our rounds of cocktails for some happy adrenaline!
Our giggle juices for the evening – Mojito, Pineapple Malibu and Cranberry with Vodka
To get our appetites going, we started with a Bruschetta Platter of Smoked Salmon, Mushroom and Tomato. The 6-piece platter goes for RM16 and showcase toasty baguette crowned the three classic favorite ingredients. These are easy to savor and go well with beer or cocktails. Sweet and juicy marinated tomatoes with herbs, earthy sautéed mushrooms and thick slices of salty smoked salmon is a great combination of flavours and textures. Each one compliments the other and makes a nice appetizer for those who want some small bites.
Our national dish also made an appearance on the menu, proving that Nasi Lemak is always in demand no matter what time of the day it is. SWAG Nasi Lemak is only available as a special on Sundays. For that plate, one gets fluffly coconut scented rice, fried spiced chicken, awesome sweet and spicy sambal and the regular sidekicks of egg, peanut, anchovy and cucumber. Pretty much predictable but that’s what makes its good dish with all the predictable yummy ingredients of our nation’s pride and joy. We love their fried spiced chicken so much that we told Sudip to put this on the menu as a snack dish.
One can’t be swag without having The Swag! Priced at RM22, the hefty burger has a thick and juicy beef patty with melted cheddar, beef bacon, caramelized onions, sesame seed bun and the usual condiments. It comes with a side of crispy potato chips, pickles, mustard, ketchup and tartare sauce. This American classic is beautifully executed and is pretty satisfying with its juicy and flavourful patty and all the works. Portion is very decent as it is big enough to satisfy big eaters like me.
While eyeing the chalkboard menu, I also spied other burgers like Super Moo Rio, Cheesy Chicken and Chiquita. From the Press, there is also Yolo (You Only Lamb Once) and Legen-Dairy freshly pressed sandwiches. If I were you, get an order of Chili Cheese Fries to go with all that burgers and sandwiches.
To be honest, I didn’t do justice on the photo of the Chicken Cordon Bleu. The dish is very delicious when savored hot. Chicken breast is stuffed with ham and cheese, breaded, fried and smothered in luscious cream sauce. When we took a piece of the chicken, we could see the melted oozy cheese that goes so well with the ham, chicken and cream sauce. This one is served with mashed potatoes and greens for RM24.
Carnivores would be thrilled with SWAG’s Angus Beef Sirloin Steak and Spicy Lamb Shoulder. Cooked to your liking, the Angus beef is chargrilled to a smoky and flavourful edge. It comes with the classic crinkle cut fries and sautéed vegetable medley. There are three sauces available of your choice from mushroom, black pepper and barbeque. The steak has a generous sprinkling of salt and black pepper making it tasty and succulent.
I personally like the Spicy Lamb Shoulder a lot. The lamb has a gorgeous tasty marinade and is nicely chargrilled with bits of caramelized edges. Still medium pink, the lamb pieces is tender with spicy notes. Lamb tends to have a strong aroma but this one didn’t and the spices have scented the meat well. Served with potato chips, side greens and an orange mustard sauce, the dish is hearty and satisfying. The pairing of orange mustard sauce is a bit unusual but it really goes well with the lamb and takes on a different flavour for the grilled lamb.
SWAG has an honest and inviting appeal. Ambience, food and drinks are pretty much decent and there is a sense of appeal that one will definitely return for a good bite or chill with friends. If you check out their Facebook, SWAG seems to be the ‘it’ place to host parties and private functions. Their rooftop bar and lounge even has a barbeque station should one decide to have a BBQ party!
SWAG BAR AND GRILL
1, Lorong Sultan, PJ Palms Sport Centre
46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor D.E.
Tues – Thurs: 4.00pm to 1.00am
Fri & Sat: 4.00 to 2.00am
Sun: 4.00pm – 1.00am (Close on Monday)