INDULGE your senses in the embrace of Mother Nature, where lush greens, splendid views and wildlife provide delightful company, at the one of a kind Tree Monkey restaurant in Teluk Bahang.
Touted as Penang’s greenest dining experience, the restaurant’s perch on a high platform amidst centuries old rain trees puts patrons right in the heart of nature.
Should a rustle in the leaves be heard, look up and you might just catch a glimpse of the cute Dusky Leaf Monkeys, with dark faces and white circles around its eyes, that inhabit the surrounding trees and give the eatery its name.
You might also spot little squirrels and hear birds chirp their melodious notes. Further away, there are scenic vistas of the island’s northern coastlines and Andaman Sea to catch one’s gaze.
The rustic and laid back ambience — no doubt influenced by its traditional Balinese aesthetics — make it a great place to relax and unwind over scrumptious grub and tantalizing drinks.
On the pork free menu are a vast selection of Thai, Asian and Western offerings, ranging from light snacks to munch over with good company, to hearty wholesome fare for the entire family.
If the former is desired, then mix and match from a selection of some three dozen tapas items, such as pandan chicken, Thai fish cakes, Darling Crab, otak-otak, satay, bruschetta and baked mussels, just to name a few.
The Lab Gai, a northeastern Thai minced chicken salad is a refreshing palate teaser, while the Namprik Mamoung, boiled vegetables with shrimp paste, should appeal to those who love fiery flavours.
Otherwise, take your pick from a range of whole fish dishes with different preparations and sauces such as lime and chili, lemongrass and chili, kaengsom, crispy herb, sweet and sour, and Chu Chi curry.
One also can’t go wrong with the Tamarind Prawns – whose sweet and tangy gravy is great when mopped up with rice.
On top of that, there are pastas and sandwiches, as well as rice, noodle and curry dishes to savour.
Throughout October, diners who order dishes that made it onto CNN Go’s ‘World’s Most Delicious Foods’ top 50 list — masaman curry, somtum (papaya salad), namtok (grilled beef salad) and tomyum soup — will get a complimentary glass of nutmeg juice.
For a great cuppa, try one of the infused teas, available either hot or cold, like the Butterfly Pea Flower Tea, imbued with the deep blue essence of the Clitoria flower, or the aromatic Pandan Leaf Tea.
There’s also the Sunset Hour between 6pm and 7pm daily, where signature mocktails like the Sunset Paradise and Monkey Punch, can be had for just RM10 each.
Despite the Tree Monkey’s location adjacent to the Tropical Spice Gardens, it is a separate entity accessible via a different gate, and no entrance fee is required.
As getting to the dining area entails a short hike, those with senior citizens are allowed to drive up the slope for drop offs only.
The Tree Monkey is also available for small functions and gatherings, ideally between 20 and 30 pax, and offers customized menus for the occasion.
It is open daily from 9am to 11pm. For more information or reservations, visit www.treemonkey.com.my or call 04-8813493/4.