Three Monkey is Phukets’ Thai Hotspot
In a sleepy corner of Phuket Old Town, a humble little restaurant called Three Monkeys is giving the flashy beach resorts a run for their money when it comes to the best Thai food on the island. As a frequent Phuket visitor, I’ve sampled many meals at Three Monkeys over the years. While everything I’ve tried is amazing thanks to generations-old family recipes, these 5 signatures encapsulate the colors, textures, aromas and flavors that make Three Monkeys Phuket’s go-to spot for locals and visitors alike.
Three Monkey Signature Dishes
1.Raw Shrimp in Spicy Lime Fish Sauce
Don’t let the simple preparation of this starter fool you – it spotlights the super-fresh plump shrimp sourced daily by the restaurant, their sweet Butler-like meat on full display. These shrimp get bathed in Three Monkeys‘ trademark pungent, herbaceous and perfectly balanced marinade starring fiery Thai chilies, zesty lime juice, pungent fish sauce and fragrant Thai basil.
A tastebud awakening starter, a tantalizing Thai triumph of salty, sour and spicy flavors. The buttery sweetness of the fresh shrimp makes the ideal canvas for the seafood lovers. It’s the perfect prelude to prep your palate for the flavor explosion ahead from Three Monkeys’ signatures. Just don’t double dip – you’ll want to soak up every last drop!
2.Spicy Prawn Salad with Lemongrass
With each crunch you get the perfect taste contrast – the sweet smokiness of the prawns, the crisp cool vegetables, the tangy lime dressing and underlying heat from those chilies. It nails the Thai trinity of spicy, sour and sweet in every bite. Your taste buds will thank-you for ordering this dish.The portion seems deceivingly petite at first, but with all those bold flavors packed in, a little goes a long way. Just make sure to save room for the rest of the Three Monkeys’ signatures that are still to come!
3.Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
Sure it may induce a few sniffles and sweat on a sweltering Phuket afternoon, but something about that sinus-clearing, soul-warming heat keeps locals and tourists alike coming back to Three Monkeys’ tom yum bowl after memorable bowl. It’s tom yum that tastes like a steaming, spicy-sour hug – the ultimate taste of Thailand in soup form.
One steaming spoonful of the signature Tom Yum Shrimp Soup sees many tastebuds singing with joy – with those plump juicy shrimp floating in a masterfully balanced broth mingling sweet, spicy, sour and salty. Galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and spicy bird’s eye chilies infuse layers of aromatic herbaceous-ness.
4.BBQ Half Chicken
The real magic happens as orders come in and the chickens get a blistering sear in Three Monkeys’ fiery hot wok, turning that glistening marinade into an irresistible sticky glaze keeping the meat remarkably moist.Each tender, juicy bite bursts with flavor – the sweet and savory glaze, a subtle hint of smoke, and wonderfully crispy charred bits.
For as humble as a simple grilled chicken. Three Monkeys manages to inject their unique Thai personality into the dish, creating possibly the most crave-able chicken you will ever try anywhere on the island of Phuket. You will often find myself picking pieces off the plate long after you are full,it is just that amazingly tasty to where you are unable to resist just one more tasty bite. It’s that perfect balance of savory depth and finger lickin’ satisfaction.
5. Steamed White Snapper
The real star is restraint – there are no overpowering spices or heavy sauces hindering the natural flavors. Steamed to a delicate flakiness, every moist morsel of snapper seems to dissipate on the tongue giving you the upmost savory flavors that will leave you in awe of the flavors. Leaving behind hints of garlic, cilantro and the crispy shallot garnish crackling with flavor.
Much like sashimi depends on the freshness of the catch, this simple preparation makes the snapper the spectacle of your dinner at Three monkeys. Only the freshest fish can be so lightly adorned yet still shine so brightly and taste so savory on your palette. It takes a skilled judgment of ingredients and an amazing chef to know when less is more. In the hands of the Three Monkeys’ kitchen, even humble steamed fish becomes an extraordinary through sheer simplicity and taste.