White Swans Asia Caffe

InfoInfo MapMap
798 South Clinton Avenue, Rochester NY, 14620 [Directions]
Hours (as of July 2013)
Sunday - Thursday: 9:00AM to 9:30PM
Friday - Saturday: 9:00AM to 10:30PM
585 270 4431
Wheelchair Accessible
Info Needed
[WWW]2011-09-28 Metromix review
[WWW]2012-06-27 City Newspaper

White Swans is a Asian Fusion restaurant in the Highland Park Neighborhood. They serve a combination of Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese food, as well as a selection of Asian pastries. Delivery available.

They opened in June 2011.


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2011-07-11 10:09:08   I am very happy White Swan opened! They bake fresh chinese bread/pastries every day and its definitly comparable to NYC's baked goods. The noodle dishes are very good and so are their HK style drinks.

I highly recommend this! —Cathy

2011-07-20 18:55:44   Alright, I try to be somewhat positive in my reviews, but it is not possible with this place. I was very excited initially since the menu seemed to include a lot of dishes that you normally don't see in asian restaurants outside NYC. But seriously, the thai curry my wife had was clearly canned and looked like nacho cheese sauce on the place. Not only did they not stir fry the vegetables in this dish, they were clearly frozen and boiled and placed on the bottom of the dish with the curry ladled over them. Nasty. My Sa Cha beef casserole tasted like somebody microwaved a dinty moore pot roast and added soy sauce and corn starch.

I mean come on, they served french fried before the food came out! We should have run screaming from the restaurant.

Notice the above review is by someone who has only one entry, probably the owner. I really, really wanted to like this place, but it was one of the most horrible places i've eaten at in recent memory. —jberna

2011-07-22 10:02:15 The french fry appetizer is odd but so what? It's certainly more of a conversation-starter than the ubiquitous "chow mein noodles and duck-sauce" caca. The folks running the place are from Guangdong, China, via NYC and they hope to serve dim sum soon...Guangdong = dim sum! I haven't had a better bbq pork bun, baked or steamed, outside of Chinatown. They're making a lot of their own noodles too. They have some kinks to work out e.g. my noodles were a little doughy but the flavor and quality of the whole meal was wonderful. Btw, don't order Thai food at a Chinese restaurant!!!!! Would you order Spanish food at an Italian restaurant? I admire what they're doing and I'm glad they're here. Oh yeah, imho the Hong Kong style coffee is way better than the sickenly sweet Vietnamese stuff - WSwans is using better coffee and and actual milk-based condensed milk instead of the sweetened vegetable shortening that the Vietnamese use...check out the cans of condensed "milk" they sell in the Asian grocery stores, mmmmmmmmm not so much. -signed, NOT the owner ;-)

2011-11-17 20:46:05   Had a great meal here! French fry appetizer was weird, but that didn't stop us from eating it all. We ordered the scallion pancake, which was not much to write home about. I had the pad kee mow and (before you say anything about ordering Thai at a Chinese place) it was really good. We also ordered the Chinese broccoli with garlic, which surprisingly was the highlight. Simply done and awesome. With a bowl of rice a perfect light meal.
Also, I know this is may be non PC to say, but when we went all the other tables were filled with Chinese families.
The service was great, friendly and prompt.

Will definitely go back. —pdx87

2012-02-09 12:28:33   With the closing of Great Win Chinese bakery many years back, the chinese bakery scenery had all but vanished, but with the arrival of White Swans, delicious chinese baked goods can be had once again! Although the selection is not as great as other bakeries in other cities, they have a good stable of selections. To top it off, their dim sums are quite delicious, it is still a little odd if you eat in, as the decor reminds you of old Romanesque era. The service can be a hit or miss, but the dim sum and baked goods sets it apart. French fries although strange appetizer for a chinese restaurant was really delicious as well. I wish their egg tarts are more readily available though as several times we went, they were sold out. —DaveWong

2012-02-13 17:09:30   I feel a bit guilty about only giving them 3 stars, because they really are trying. It's not the food (mostly), but rather the menu that is holding them back.

First the food-we had 2 appetizers (scallion cakes and pork buns), which were quite good, although the scallion cakes were a bit greasier than I would like. For entrees, I had a Viet cold noodle, lettuce and springroll dish (can't remember what it's called, and strangely, I've only seen dishes like this in Chinese restaurants, never in a Vietnamese restaurant), and my partner had the hot and fragrant fish. While both were quite well prepared, and my noodle dish was tasty, I did think the fish was a bit bland. Maybe I'm missing something?

I would've liked to be more adventerous (especially with the dim-sum menu), but many of the dishes were listed solely with Chinese names, without any explanation for westerners. Sure, maybe I coul've tried "Bang bo Hui" (I made that one up, BTW), but without a clue as to what it was, why would I? Also, having a separate dim-sum menu didn't make much sense. Combine them, and give thorough, coherent explanations. I mean, it IS supposed to be a "fusion" restaurant, right?

Oh, the service was quite good, but then, we WERE the only people eating there at the time. The decor is about 80% of what Basha left when they closed up about 3 years ago, but thankfully, they have replaced that awful celing. Still, the pastel-green carpet just SCREAMS "1983", and the couple of paper lanterns hanging in odd locations does little to make the space look asian.

Still, if you're looking for a 'modern' Chinese dining experience (and you're not actually fluent in Chinese), I would have to say that Han does a much better job, for better prices, in a better location. Maybe during the warm months, the patio at White Swan's would make it more appealing, but unless they make the menu more accessible, I would go to Han first. Also, they really need to get at least a beer license.

2012-05-28 14:10:42   I only go for their bubble teas. They use real fruit in them (watermelon has actual watermelon instead of just a powder mix). Only thing it, the wait for them is long. Even if you call it in, they don't actually start making them until you get there. I don't know why. But it's worth the wait. They're $3.00-$3.50 each and have a variety of flavors. Best in the area in my opinion. —heyhowareyou

2012-09-14 14:13:58   We've had many good meals here. I would recommend their homemade noodle dishes. Surprisingly, their Bun Bo Lui (a Vietmanese dish) is one of the best I've had. Their baked goods are great but the selection has diminished since they opened. They bake fresh every day so I'm guessing that too much was going to waste. You can order a cake a day ahead and they will make it fresh for you. And for those who commented on the french fries, it is an odd appetizer but they are free and delicious! You can opt for the pickled turnips and carrots instead but they are always a little too soggy for my taste. Overall, it's a great family owned restaurant serving dishes that are hard to get elsewhere in Rochester. —JulieBeige

2012-10-11 15:52:58   This is one of my favorite restaurants in town. The dim sum are very tasty (some of my favorites are the leek pan cake, shrimp rice roll, eggplant with b.b.s, and steamed vegetable with pork bun). The house special dumplings are delicious (I prefer steamed, but fried are good too)—so is the shrimp wonton soup, which I credit with curing my most recent cold. For entrees, the Peking Zha Jiang Noodle is very flavorful, and the noodles are homemade. House specials like Sha Cha Beef Casserole and Steamed Fragrant and Hot Fish are also great, as are vegetable dishes like Sauteed Chinese Broccoli with Garlic and Chinese Mushroom over Baby Bok-Choy. They also bake their own pastries (I'd recommend the red bean paste bun). The owners and staff are very friendly; it's a cozy, casual place to dine in, and it's also perfect for take-out. Very affordable too! —EstherArnold

2012-12-22 16:36:30   When you are ready to graduate from the everyday Asian-American food you get most places and want something special and authentic, White Swans is the place to go. Their wonderful Chinese pastries, that are made every day, rival those you would only find in a big-city Chinatown. You can get great dim sum every day too. The "House Special" dumplings are to die for. The baby bok choy and Chinese mushrooms is beautiful and tasty - most places you can only get it at Chinese New Year but White Swans has it every day. They have house-made noodles in some dishes. The duck "burgers" are divine - perfectly roasted duck bits, crackling duck skin, a sliver of spring onion, and a little sweet soy barbecue sauce on a simple steamed bun. If you can't read the menu tell the server what kind of tastes you like and they will steer you the right way. —jgerek

2013-04-09 20:31:41   my husband i went tonight for the first time, and for the last. we had a poor experience all of the way around. —jeanettejeanette

2013-07-30 10:53:25   The food is delicious, fresh and low priced. The service is gruff and efficient but very friendly. The food does not take long and it's fresh and very tasty. The Bubble teas are made from real fruit, not powder and are fabulously fresh. Highly recommend. —rocdoc