Diner Beauty of Phuket
As the last sliver of sun sinks into the Andaman sea’s shimmering turquoise waters, the palms and bougainvillea draped across the cliffside glow golden pink. This Must-Visit Diner welcomes you. As you follow the flickering glow of lanterns along a wooded path to where giant boulders precariously balance, defying gravity. There perched atop the rocks are intricate, thatched-roof salas with gauzy curtains fluttering in the sea breeze.
The heady aroma of garlic, chili and lemongrass rises from sizzling woks nearby as waves crash just meters below your feet at high tide. Looking out at the Instagram-worthy dreamscape of palms silhouetted by the setting sun, you have discovered a secret paradise hideaway known only to a few as Three Monkeys Phuket. This is where planned meals turn into six-course journeys into Chef Ann’s edible avant garde creations.
As you settle into a private cliffside table, don’t be surprised if the dishes seem more like performance art than sustenance. Towering presentations of lobster ravioli with lemongrass bisque give way to intricate Wagyu tear drops resting on edible bird’s nests perched atop carved pineapples. Yet this is not novelty for novelty’s sake, this is an acclaimed in both Asia Restaurant Top 50 guide, Three Monkeys infuses each architectural bite with brilliant harmony and lively happiness.
Much of that alchemy comes from Chef Ann’s classic French Le Cordon Bleu training merging seamlessly with the vibrant flavors of regional Thai street fare. Take the mouthwatering gaeng som pla kapong din – snapper and prawn coconut curry fired up with a house-made Phuket curry paste redolent of kaffir lime and wild mountain pepper harvested from the surrounding jungle hills.
It arrives steaming hot in a young coconut freshly chopped open table-side by your gracious waiter. This blending of European precision and Thai soul continues through multi-textured desserts like white chocolate ganache with jackfruit sorbet and shards of tempered dark chocolate patterned after ancient Sino-Portuguese roof tiles once commonplace along Phuket’s shorelines.
This restaurant guarantees amazing food, with reasonable prices that will have you craving for more authentic Thai, Japanese and Western food. The instagram-able diner and lush green scenery surrounding by visitors playing and screaming on the nearby zip-line or Roller is all exciting for the diners who wouldn’t dare to take that leap of faith.
As the moon rises over swaying palms, a torch is lit at your table to welcome the night. And Three Monkeys’ romantic cliffside setting shines even brighter under a canopy of stars. The restaurant sources 90% of its seafood from the artisanal anglers spotted daily trawling past your table.Ensuring fresh catch like wok-seared crab and New Zealand mussels steamed in coconut milk infused with wild betel leaves foraged from nearby forests. Such hyper-local ingredients sing with the essence of Phuket in every dish.
Yet perhaps most striking amidst of the chefs culinary perfection are the jaw-dropping scenes stealing your gaze through curtain-framed windows or the outside dining area, while listening to the local jazz band sing tunes of the future and old school vibes.
Named after the fabled Three Wise Monkeys carved into the cliffside, the restaurant’s gravity-defying location took over six months to fully construct. Now as you view the gentle glow on the horizon, you dine in harmony with nature tucked into treetop canopies overlooking stunning Phuket Town.
So leave expectations down in the valley along with the bustling crowds as you ascend into a singular dining experience that tempts both tastebuds and lenses. The flavors and scenes here invite you to stay awhile, and make you eager to return to uncover more of what this tucked-away cliffside restaurant has in store next visit. Because some journeys remain carved into memory and spirit long after the last sweet mango sticky rice melts away.