Ok, so my life passion is fish. I work @ a large fresh fish place with a annual rev. of about $6 mil. I've done almost every fish out there at some point. I will tell you that IMHO Swai is a trash fish. Yes the cost is low, but so is the quality. The company who is responsible for farming the majority of them is actually the same that was doing barramundi. Now, when they were doing barramundi in the U.S. (factory was actually in MA) they were doing AMAZING things with aqua-culture. Recreating currents to ensure the fish swam naturally to create proper density of flesh etc etc.
Well... they packed up.. and went to S.E. Asia
Now I'll tell you I buy tuna from all over the world.. Japan, South Africa, both of the Americas... but fish out of S.E. asia is on my no no list. Mostly because they dont care for their products well. But anyway, I've seen the "new" farms that they are using and I'll simply say it's sub-par. Sanitation is by far one of their biggest issues. Mainly because they are over-loading water with fish, which is creating a toxic atmosphere.
AND its all frozen!!
There are many MANY viable options for cost conscious chefs out there and it really is based upon the seasonality of the species. Wild Catfish is killer right now..
Obviously a lot of people are using Swai and Basa.. and I'm not downing anyone for it.. but if you want to focus on the quality of product I feel you will be disappointed in this.
Hope that helps..