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Reader Recommends: Swai in Dublin’s Docklands



My awesome neighbour Annie got in touch recently to recommend a Malaysian restaurant in Dublin’s Docklands:

My boyfriend and I had a meal recently in Swai, a Malaysian restaurant, located in North Wall in the Docklands area. The restaurant itself is in one of those glass bubble units perched just beside the promenade on the north banks of the Liffey. Looking into the bubble from outside, Swai looks quite upmarket and features cream leather seating, nicely starched serviettes, and exotic orchids on the bar counter. We were therefore very pleasantly surprised to see that they were offering a very reasonable Set Menu from 5 p.m. to 10p.m. which costs €20 and comprises a starter, main course with a glass of wine followed by a cup of tea or coffee or ice cream!

A taste of Malaysia at Swai

A taste of Malaysia at Swai

My boyfriend doesn’t drink wine and I am a vegetarian so we are quite an awkward couple when it comes to set menus. We were so impressed when he was offered a Tiger beer instead of a glass of wine and I was offered my choice of vegetarian mains as well as a veggie version of the Tom Yom soup to start. The starters were delicious, we can vouch for the Tom Yom soup and the chicken satay skewers. For mains, my boyfriend had roast duck and I had a veggie version of the Malay Mee Gioreng (minus the seafood). This had a very fresh, healthy feel – not a hint of any nasty MSGs! The duck, too, was tender and fell off the bone.

It’s a bit much to expect €20 to cover starters, mains, a glass of wine AND a dessert but Swai’s option to have plain ice-cream instead of tea and coffee is very welcome for the more savoury than sweet types who just want something simple after a delicious meal. My boyfriend had the ice-cream – nicely presented and simple. I opted for a cup of tea. I was really impressed with the presentation – a beautifully elegant white pot of tea with matching sugar bowl and jug which made me feel I was having more than just a cuppa.

The staff were very friendly and wondered if we were going to The Point afterwards. We weren’t but everyone else in the place was evidently, and they left en masse at about 7 45 p.m. leaving us to sit alone and enjoy the view of the Liffey with more wine and Tiger beer.


  1. We had a great meal in Swai on friday with a group of friends and family. A great location – lovely relaxing view of the liffey and city. The staff were very good, attentive but not always hanging around. The foods was delicious – the duck cooked to perfection. Very tasty. Great price too- €20 for the set menu (choice of starter, choice of main course, Tea/Coffee & ice cream for dessert ) plus a free glass of wine. You would not get it anywhere else! I really enjoyed my food and the atmoshpere. I would highly recommend Swai for a group meal or for an intimate setting.

  2. Yep, absolutely delicious. Party of five went for the €20 set meny last Saturday and it was remarkably good value. We also had the benefit of eating in a Malaysian restaurant with a Malaysian woman. She said the food was really good, but that in Malaysia it would be spicier. I really enjoyed my “yummy chicken curry” but I agree: a little more spice wouldn’t have gone amiss. Still, I’d be back in a heartbeat before any show in the Point.

  3. Quite a disappointing experience overall , while it looks nice with a big chandler as a coeliac they had 2 options on the menu both were starters or some plain veg with rice, which I had. Needless to say it was utterly boring… i go to plenty of restaurants who can usually adapt a dish to be be coeliac friendly. This restaurant clearly had no interest in entertaining this notion. In this day and age knowing about food intollerances and allergies they need to up their game and come and join the plenty of other restaurants that can do so. Overall not worth the visit from my perspective, I could easily have put 2 pieces of broccoli, 3 snap peas and 2 mushrooms on top of boring rice any day!