A precisely controlled quantum system may reveal a fundamental understanding of another, less accessible system of interest. A universal quantum computer is currently out of reach, but an analogue quantum simulator that makes relevant observables, interactions and states of a quantum model accessible could permit insight into complex dynamics. Several platforms have been suggested and proof-of-principle experiments have been conducted. Here, we operate two-dimensional arrays of three trapped ions in individually controlled harmonic wells forming equilateral triangles with side lengths 40 and 80 mm. In our approach, which is scalable to arbitrary two-dimensional lattices, we demonstrate individual control of the electronic and motional degrees of freedom, preparation of a fiducial initial state with ion motion close to the ground state, as well as a tuning of couplings between ions within experimental sequences. Our work paves the way towards a quantum simulator of two-dimensional systems designed at will.