When SWIK first opened in Bandar Baru Bangi's spanking new 3B Curve Business Park, its signboard had just Wadihana written on it - prompting us to wonder what was the restaurant's specialty. Does it serve Arabic food, or Indonesian cuisine (we always jokingly called it Wadi Unung after the Malay drama) or simply, Malay dishes? Even when the new signboard with the words Islamic Kitchen written across it, we never felt inclined to try it out. But SWIK were always enjoyed good patronage almost daily, and that just got us more curious.
So one fine night, we decided to try SWIK out. (Perhaps you might like to find out about the restaurant's name origins - read it at www.sajianonline.com.my).
Simple and minimalistic, SWIK's open kitchen concept is indeed welcome, though not original. The restaurant is spacious enough as it occupies two shoplots (by the corner too), so it has wide, open spaces for large families or gatherings. Comfortable without being overly decorative, SWIK achieves high in the furnishing department.
The service was average, but not as quick as we expected it to be. The staff was friendly enough, but they only notified us that one of our order (nasi impit) was finished, about 20 minutes after we had placed the order. However, they did make it up a free bowl of keropok for us to nibble the time away.
When we looked at the menu, there were two things that bothered us a bit. First, was the price. The dishes are a bit expensive for a restaurant of this type in Bandar Baru Bangi. Let me give a few examples - RM30.90 for a chicken fajita? Well, I like Tex-Mex food, but at that price it has to be authentic (with guacamole?) and served in a big portion. And a mixed grilled steak will set you back RM45, and with no mention of whether it's sirloin or tenderloin, I'm not prepared to go for it. Other examples of pricing are fish and chips (RM15.90), rib-eye steak (RM65) and mee siam kuah (RM9.90)
Secondly, SWIK is trying to serve too many kind of dishes in one go - they specialize in Asian, Western, Italian and Mexican (as stated in menu and business card) - that we cannot pinpoint what to have. Perhaps a chef's recommendation note is put on the menu. We finally decide to go Johorean, as the restaurant has deep roots in JB - and ordered the Laksa Johor, Nasi Ambeng and Nasi Goreng Ah Pau (replacing the finished nasi impit set). We also decide to make the Laksa as the benchmark.
Now, for the positives. The price might be a little steep, but they do make an effort to make it up in size, freshness and presentation. The Laksa Johor was tasty though a little spicy and the portion was just nice. My nasi ambeng was also okay, it had white rice, sambal goreng, serunding, sambal ikan bilis and ayam kicap. But it would be nicer if I could choose more options to put in the Nasi Ambeng, like the missing meehon, begedil and fried fish. Finally, the Nasi Goreng Ah Pau was seafood-based, and the shrimps and squids are quite big and fresh.
The dishes we ordered did not disappoint, but they did not impress either. Tasty, but could be much, much better. So are the prices worth it? We do not think so, if we plan to eat there on a regular basis, but would be fine if we make SWIK a monthly visit. However, it is up to you to decide.
It would be unfair to judge SWIK because we only tried only one type of its extensive menu. There are plenty more to choose from depending on your taste buds and budget. Recommended for a special night out or if you want to have a lot of varieties under one roof. Contact details are 03 - 8927 5540.
Six-and-a-half marks out of ten.