If you are a PJ (Petaling Jaya) resident, you would most likely be familiar with the PJ Palms Sports Centre where the public swimming pool is located. That’s just a stone throw away from the iconic A&W restaurant. Set within this vicinity is one of PJ’s latest hotspots – the SWAG Bar & Grill, housed in a 2-storey standalone bungalow.
This brainchild of entrepreneur Sudip Thiagi, SWAG stands out like a shining beacon with spotlights lighting up its canary yellow walls. Once you step inside, the interior is easy on the eyes: handmade light-coloured furniture juxtaposed against dark grey walls. The ground floor houses a semi fine-dining area while the bar and a private room take up the upper floor. There’s also an outdoor section where private BBQ parties can be held.
Sitting back on the customised wooden chairs imported all the way from the Philippines, I settled down to check out some of their fusionistic offerings. To start the ball rolling, a platter of bruschettas (RM12 for 3 pieces) with healthy toppings like tomatoes, mushrooms and salmon was placed on the table. Flavours were light but these were merely appetizers, so I was looking forward to something with a bit more bite.
So when a plate of our national dish – Nasi Lemak was served, my mood elevated somewhat. The sambal was decent, portion of crunchy peanuts and ikan bilis more than generous but I just don’t get why the rice was pressed into a flat rectangular shape which goes against all my accepted notions of how the nasi in this dish should be presented. That aside, the rice was suitably fragrant but I’ve had better nasi lemak. Perhaps the piece of fried chicken should be bigger, looking at the general proportions of the components on that plate.
I liked the Swag Burger (RM22) for its tasty homemade beef patty layered with beef bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, caramelised onions, cheese and mustard. A pile of crispy potato chips and tangy pickles accompanied this classic burger and burger lovers should have nothing to be displeased with. Those chips were really addictive too.
For something more meaty, the Angus Beef Sirloin Steak with mixed salad and French fries was executed well. From a choice of 3 sauces: brown sauce, black pepper or wine reduction sauce, I chose the black pepper which was nicely spicy from the peppercorns while the other 2 sauces were just kinda average.
Chicken Cordon Bleu (RM24) has to be eaten hot – succulent chicken breast wrapped in turkey ham and stuffed with cheese. Once the dish cools down, it won’t be so palatable. The sides of mixed greens, mashed potato and cream sauce complete the serving.
While I didn’t quite fancy the Spicy Lamb Shoulder (RM20) served with salad, potato salad and spicy sauce, DL thought it was pretty good. The meat was on the tough side for me.
While the speakers blare out some non-commercial house, nu-disco and retron music, we sat back and chilled out in the cosy ambience of Swag with glasses of cocktails and beer.
You can also consider Swag for your next corporate or social event as the premise is large enough for group gatherings. Location-wise, it’s excellent in the heart of Petaling Jaya and it’s a cosy joint without losing it’s “hip” appeal – there’s certainly a lot of swag going on there!
SWAG Bar & Grill
1 Lorong Sultan
PJ Jaya Palms Sports
46200 Petaling Jaya
Sunday: 4.00pm to 1.00am