Sea Point’s latest ramen restaurant, Three Wise Monkeys, is heating up the Regent Road strip with steaming bowls of noodles. The already-popular spot is headed up by young restaurateur Ash Mair, with Seelan Sundoo (of Seelan Restaurant and Bar and Sundoo) consulting on food. Nikita Buxton grabs a table on a busy Friday night for a first taste.
Serves: Ramen, poké bowls and sushi
Average main meal: R100
Best for: A casual date night or dinner with friends
Star rating: Food 4, service 3, ambience 3
This is a simple affair with three options (at the moment) from which to choose. To test the waters, the team has set up a small menu so as not to overwhelm the kitchen. The deal is simple: Order a bowl of ramen, 12-piece sushi platter or a poké bowl for R100 and get a complimentary glass of wine, beer or soft drink.
The poké bowl comes from the Hawaiian word pōke, meaning to cut or section. The on-trend dish is commonly made up of chunks of diced raw tuna or salmon and comes served in a bowl on a bed of sushi rice with the likes of soy sauce, green onions and avocado. Ours includes both tuna and salmon, avo, pickled ginger, mung bean sprouts, edamame beans and pickled ginger, and is topped with a delicious togarashi mayo that adds a nice amount of heat. The dish is light and perfect for those with a smaller appetite.
As for the main event, the ramen is beautiful. The noodles are silky and cooked to perfection, nestled in a delicately flavoured broth. The bowl is also filled with sprouts, spring onions, pickled mushrooms, light and dark meat of perfectly-cooked, succulent chicken, and a magnificent boiled egg for richness. For those wanting a bit more punch, there’s soy sauce and sriaracha readily available.
Desserts are still in the works but you can look forward to the glorious-sounding homemade s’mores made with the help of neighbouring chocolatier My Sugar.
Three Wise Monkeys is not yet licensed, but they do serve free drinks (while stocks last) and encourage patrons to bring their own wine. Soon enough they’ll be serving Nespresso coffee and interesting teas to pair with the Asian grub.
They’re doing a dry run when we visit, so the service is a little shaky, albeit friendly.
The space is simply yet tastefully styled, with exposed brick and navy accents. Large light shades hang from the ceiling and add a dark and moody ambience at night. The crockery is beautifully made by Mervyn Gers. One downfall is that the sidewalk seating is for smokers, and the fold-back windows allow their second-hand smoke to waft into the restaurant.
Three Wise Monkeys is not taking bookings, but is already buzzing with locals. Get there early to nab a table.
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