A bao and ramen noodle bar with sushi on the side. The eclectic menu tempts with a selection of bao buns, ramen noodle broths and sushi poke bowls. No Asian chefs or staff in sight – but the rich and savoury broths simmering away in giant pots in the open kitchen infuse the venue with authentic umami aromas.
Start with a beef, chicken, prawn or eggplant-stuffed bao bun enhanced with pickled vegetables, piquant teriyaki sauce or firecracker mayo – and a bowl of strongly flavoured fermented kimchi vegetables on the side, which has the kick of a mule. The tempura panko prawns with a sweet chilli dipping sauce come rolled in a heavy-handed batter – but the seared seven-spice tuna or beef tataki with house ponzu, nori and roasted garlic burst with flavour.
The ramen broths are the star of the show, made from a chicken stock. Lean over the table, bend low over the bowl and slurp the ramen noodles like the guy in the comic-strip mural over the counter. The mouth-filling (beef, duck, chicken or vegetarian) broths are infused with delicious smoky, salty and sour flavours of fermented soy, miso, mushroom, nori, pickled cabbage and charrred yaki corn – and the option of a five-minute marinated egg.
If they have mochi, share dessert. Otherwise skip sweets.
A small selection of affordable wines by the glass is available, as well as craft beers, spirits and cocktails.
The table waiters are indifferent; rather ask advice from the enthusiastic staff in the open kitchen.
Three Wise Monkeys has a casual, younger, trendy Sea Point night vibe, with intimate, comfy black banquettes, a grungy, dark interior, and an open-street counter for singles.
Catching up with friends over lunch or dinner.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
We are regulars at this establishment for their fresh, delicious food. Every time. The chicken bao and brisket ramen take the top spots for our favourite dishes.
Service is hit&miss. We’ve had both great and terrible service here - as a rule, dont be in a hurry.
But the great flavour of the food keeps us coming back for more.
If you like trying new things, do yourself a favour and try their ramen. Most flavourful dish I’ve had in a long time.
First time trying Ramen and absolutely loved it!!!!!
The service was slow and the place was very busy, but the manager was accommodative and helping the waiter. Get there early if you want a table we arrive around 6:30 pm, and there was only 2 tables open, the place is small but cosy and great vibe. Portions are huge.
A group of us dined at Three Wise Monkeys last night.
Unfortunately we did not have a great experience. We waited for our meals for over an hour and when they arrived they were cold. I had the vegetable dish which was terribly bland and cold.
This morning, all of those that had meat/chicken/fish are really sick!
Overall a VERY underwhelming experience...
At Three Wise Monkeys you see no evil, hear no evil & smell no evil - it's one of the best Ramen destinations in Cape Town! Generous bowls of ramen are filled with flavour and not shy on the meat ratio - absolutely incredible, I even dared to have my leftovers for breakfast the next morning. Try the chicken wings starter - I've not tasted a better basting since the days of Spur. Service is efficient and friendly and the vibe is low-key and relaxed. Take your own wine or beer, as they don't have a liquor license at the moment, and no reservations mean you might have to wait a minute or two for a table, but trust me - it's worth it.