Mariko’s: Streetwalker gourmet

Those prostitutes must really know how to eat. You already know about pasta puttanesca, that briny tomato sauced-pasta with anchovies and capers, allegedly favored by 19th century ladies of the night. And now there’s Mariko’s, a ramen bar and izakaya inspired by fictional manga hooker, Mariko (created by Japanese artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi).

Mariko’s is located in the former red light district on Jiak Chuan Road and aims to revive the neighborhood’s edgy back alley charm (but in a classy way of course). A project by the folks behind Bartini and The Retrospective (just a short walk away), it is covered with cartoon strips and an illustrated logo featuring Mariko herself. The place doesn’t have gas yet, so the full menu isn’t available (stay tuned for more updates). But you can still order up snacks from a temporary menu including dishes such as prawn tempura ($25) and kimchi ramen ($16).

Perhaps more importantly, there’s plenty of booze. Wash the grub down with a range of warm and cold sakes including Manazuru Junmai Ginjo ($12/glass, $70/bottle) and Kujirano Hirune ($14/glass, $75/bottle). There’s also Japanese whisky like Nikka Black ($12/glass, $$170/bottle) and beer such as Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale ($16).