What can be more appealing than a hot bowl of soup brought together by vibrant colours and can be eaten with a spoon and chopsticks? Nothing. That’s why ramen is our perfect winter night.
Three Wise Monkeys has become one of our favourite spots in Sea Point. Along Regent Road surrounded by restaurants such as Jarryds and My Sugar, Three Wise Monkeys has definitely ranked high up in the area in the short year it has been open; serving up hot bowls of ramen, sushi and poke bowls, easily identified as a deconstructed sushi bowl, as well as kushiyaki, loosely translating to ‘off the grill’, with daily yaki grill specials. Three Wise Monkeys has become a local hangout.
This is not your typical bowl of soup or two-minute noodles! Coming in options of two broths, either chicken or shitake dashi and miso, which take hours to develop the complex flavours of the ‘simple’ broth, the ramen menu offers a selection of wholesome bowls, each with different toppings ranging from daily pickled mushroom and cabbage, beef short ribs, chicken, duck, spring onions, all the way to the perfectly soft boiled five minute marinated egg. Is your mouth watering yet?
Owner Ricky passionately described the six-hour process of making the broth, which only gets better in time through the course of the day, to the sourcing of fresh produce twice a week. The ideal noodle for the ramen bowl took a few weeks to develop and perfect, from the kansui (alkaline mineral water) to the consistency, and Ricky wants to educate Cape Town on why this bowl of soup is not simply a bowl of chicken noodle soup! And we could not agree more.
The depth of flavours in the tender beef and broth, grilled corn, pickled cabbage, and those flawlessly chewy noodles played off one another beautifully, and the spicy chili that accompanies it balances it all off. Ricky’s tip: come for dinner and enjoy the broth at its best, after a daylong cook, when the broth is most mature.
The bowls average out at about R100 each, but the large portions definitely give you quality and value for your money.
The menu, which is constantly being developed will have lots to offer once they get their liquor license; watch out for their cocktails and their range of sake, as well as Japanese whiskey.
We, however, not only had to get our hands on that perfect bowl of ramen, but the intriguing sushi donut. Now, some might argue that it is too much rice, but you are in for a treat, because that rice is wrapped around your choice of salmon or tuna, charmingly crafted over a square of nori, topped with more tuna and/or salmon, thinly sliced avocado, because, let’s be serious, you can never go wrong with avocado, Japanese mayo and edamame beans; but do not be a rookie, and ask for a knife and fork, pick it up, get messy, and enjoy it. It was so good we did not even dip it in soy sauce! The rice was perfectly cooked, as well as light and airy, the salmon was fresh, and the twice-weekly imports of fresh ingredients is easy to spot.
Three Wise Monkeys leaves a lasting impression: their aim is to cook simple, organic food that makes people happy, and reminds them of specific moments and memories in life. If they can do that, they have done their job. Each plate is prepared and plated with care, aiming to be even better than the last, with the friendliest staff, who Ricky considers family.
Having grown up in the restaurant business, Ricky has unquestionably picked up a few tips and tricks into owning a great restaurant, creating a friendly environment and a community around it!
These cold evenings are perfect ramen weather, and we easily rate this little gem a 4.5 out of 5 (and we are only saving the half point so we have an excuse to come back and try their cocktail menu!)