Mar 11, 2018
'Pho Men' Promises An Experience
Photos: Shimi Kutner/COLlive

The innovative Kosher noodle house is opening in Crown Heights this Wednesday and it promises an authentic Asian experience.

By COLlive reporter

本当のアジア! (=real Asian)

PHO-MEN on Troy, the groundbreaking Asian noodle-centric restaurant that is billed as the first kosher one of its kind, will be opening its doors this week in Crown Heights.

The staff of was invited to a private pre-opening tasting of the menu ahead of the soft opening planned for Wednesday when there will be seating by reservation only at first.

From appetizers to mains, we were served generous portions that were filling and fun to eat, whether you are adept at eating with chopsticks or not. What they all had in common were their freshness and adventurous flavor.

Appetizers included summer rolls filled with rice noodles, pickled and fresh vegetables and surimi with a spicy authentic peanut butter sauce. There were fresh salads such as crunchy green papaya and Japanese hijiki seaweed salad, and an amazing crispy rice cake over pulled beef with Asian pickles.

They serve a variety of Bahn Mi sandwiches with a combination of meat and vegetable layers, served on a fresh baguette. They also have a selection of refreshing fruit drinks, like cucumber water, strawberry orange and blueberry-lime.

But the center of attention is clearly the restaurant's two specialties, authentic Ramen and Pho. Both are hearty, delicious, and full of different flavors.

Ramen, with an intense smoky flavor, is served with a soft boiled egg, and a variety of chicken, beef or soy.

Pho, with a sweeter and lighter flavor, is served with a choice of chicken, beef cuts, chicken or meatballs, or all combined. The bowl of pho is served with a smaller bowl of fresh bean sprouts, herbs and citrus on the side, which the customer can add to their dish to their liking.

Owner Levi Jurkowicz is well aware that these names - and the nature of the dishes themselves - are foreign to many Americans and especially kosher consumers.

"I will be spending time educating restaurant guests on the types of dishes we serve for those who are experiencing authentic Kosher Asian cuisine for the first time," he told us.

"Japan is one noodle loving country," he explains. "Walk down any street in Tokyo and you're bound to come across two or three noodle joints, captained by chefs who know how to cook the stuff well.

"In Japan, restaurants will typically serve only one type of dish, so if you're at a soba joint for example, expect only soba, but expect it to be done right. Usually, when we think of Japan and noodles, we instantly think of ramen. But there are actually a few more varieties."

Here is how Jurkowicz explains the essence of the 2 most popular types of noodles in Japan which Pho Men willl be serving:


Ramen is popular across the country, and each region has its own variety. Ramen noodles are wheat-based, darker yellow ďpulledĒ noodles of Chinese origin. They should be long, springy, and cooked al dente, to a firm chew. They pair well with the thick, rich, bold broths that enhance the taste of the ramen noodle. Broth, often fortified with a multitude of flavorings and flavored animal fats is what makes ramen stand out among other types of Japanese noodles.

With dozens of varieties of delicious broth ranging from the rich and hearty to the light and refreshing, itís possible to live in Japan for a few months and not eat the same ramen twice. The most popular broths are a simple shoyu (soy sauce based broth) and shio (salt based broth) but other types such as miso, tonkotsu (bone based broth) and even curry broths have gained significant popularity with large swathes of Japanese people.

Ramen is usually topped with a piece of nori, a slice of roast meat, bamboo slices, and half a soft-boiled egg. A wide variety of other toppings, such as sweet corn, mushrooms, plain, grilled or even fried tofu can be added.


Unlike Japanese noodle dishes, where noodle is intended to be the star ingredient, with broth and toppings relegated to supporting roles, pho is all about the broth. Good pho broth has no noticeable fat, has velvety texture and very light complexion, yet is highly nuanced in flavor.

Eating good pho is not much different from French consommé or drinking good wine. One should expect layers upon layers of subtle flavors of vegetables, fruits, aromatics, dry spices and herbs used to create the crescendo complex flavor. Fresh herbs, chilies and lime are used to amplify and accentuate the flavors of the broth while customizing the heat and acidity levels.

Noodles, proteins and toppings are there to further enhance the dish without interfering with the broth. These items are generally designed to deliver bursts of flavor or offer a different texture and create a contrast with the velvety smooth broth. Good pho is very easy to eat, feels like a light meal, yet is very satisfying and filling.

Pho-Men on Troy
411 Troy Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11213
(718) 816-0200
Under CHK - Rabbi Braun

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
What's the kasherus?
(3/11/2018 9:03:32 AM)
After tax and tip, the average customer is not spending less than $25-$30 for a bowl of ramen/drink. That's $60/couple. These prices are not what a typical frum family can afford.
(3/11/2018 9:09:57 AM)
Looks yum!!!
Can't wait to come
(3/11/2018 9:33:27 AM)
The chossid
Donít waste your money , itís simply too expensive and the Kashrus ???????
(3/11/2018 9:53:25 AM)
Pho men
Is It for women too?;)

Kidding food looks awesome nice I can see such heart and soul put in those plates!
(3/11/2018 9:58:41 AM)
No Hechsher?
Hope its authentic CHK.
(3/11/2018 10:03:03 AM)
Potential customer
Will the owners be wearing yarmulkes?
(3/11/2018 10:25:29 AM)
Out of town
Most people from out of town will not eat from this Hashgacha
(3/11/2018 10:40:27 AM)
Looking forward to eating there. The killjoys can stay at home!
(3/11/2018 10:41:34 AM)
We never ate this in Russia, why start now ?
(3/11/2018 10:45:56 AM)
wow did we change
WOW!! ANOTHER restaurant in Crown Heights.

Do you really think this will make the Rebbe Proud?
(3/11/2018 11:02:29 AM)
To No.9
Iím with you!!
(3/11/2018 11:03:41 AM)
Amazing Hechsher
Rabbi Braun is extremely careful with Kashrus and I personally trust his Hechsher more than any others! Be careful before you bash a respectable Rov!!
(3/11/2018 11:16:22 AM)
im excited to try this! something new and interesting. Best of luck to the owners
(3/11/2018 11:41:52 AM)
Any vegan options?
(3/11/2018 11:50:26 AM)
Can't wait!!
Food looks awesome!!
(3/11/2018 11:50:46 AM)
Everyone chill
Why all the bashing
A yid is working to make parnassa and offering you a experience you canít get in the kosher world
Either enjoy it or eat at home but no need to bash just wiwosh him success and move on
Itís a awesome idea and he will do very well
Crown heights has become a kosher food establishment
For those who seek more refined dining
If not for you itís ok
I predict he will surprise everyone with his success
But to all those ppl bashing
Donít come later asking him to donate to your kids school or a charity campighn
Be warned !!!!
(3/11/2018 11:58:28 AM)
Hechsher, Price
It's under both Rabbis Schwei and Braun - not sure why only one is specified here.

As far as the prices, it's not a pizza shop, and it's not Empire Grill. It's not designed to be a place you go to with eight kids. But for what it is, which is a sit-down place a couple can go to for a nice meal, those prices are actually quite reasonable.
(3/11/2018 12:22:52 PM)
why is everyone bashing this restaraunt? people work hard to make these things- at least show some support
(3/11/2018 12:27:50 PM)
To number 10
We never ate this in America.
(3/11/2018 12:56:33 PM)
Looks great!
Everything looks delicious! Canít wait to come eat here .
(3/11/2018 12:59:29 PM)
To number 9
Looking forward
(3/11/2018 1:10:45 PM)
Sounds like an awesome menu, better start saving money
(3/11/2018 1:12:24 PM)
Glad it's a good hashgocha
(3/11/2018 1:25:10 PM)
I'm very happy for you and wish you lots of hatzlacha
Tho will not eat that hashgacha so stay away from controversy and change hashgacha before you open
(3/11/2018 1:59:32 PM)
@ 6 & 8, and 18
Unfortunately it's not the chk the Rebbe approved of. It's the lite version and, most frum in Towner won't eat there either.
Unfortunately, Rav Schwei has no control anymore. It's really only R Braun these days, who dictates to his silent partner.
The hashgacha speaks to the yuppies, uppies and others who really don't care anymore. Sad day for Crown heights
(3/11/2018 2:44:48 PM)
Long Live Free-Market Capitalism
Thank God we live in a country in which the government doesn't force us to purchase anything against our will (the exception being Obamacare, but Trump got rid of that too).

Those who feel these prices are excessive have the CHOICE to not dine here.

Thank you Friedike Rebbe for choosing to migrate to AMERICA and not to some communist country.

Wishing the owner of this establishment much success.
(3/11/2018 2:59:02 PM)
This isn't the first restaurant with this hechsher
Why all the bashing Rav Braun is a great rav always available to answer questions yesher koach
(3/11/2018 3:06:50 PM)
Once upon a time
A rabbi was walking down the streets of Manhattan when a young man invited into his restaurant.the Rabbi says I can't go in! why not says the young man, come inside let me show you something. The young man goes behind the counter and points to a picture of a revered rabbi on the wall and says to the rabbi, you question my restaurant? do you know who this man is in the picture? That is my grandfather!
Says the rabbi to the man: if you were hanging on the wall and your grandfather was behind the counter I would eat in this restaurant.
(3/11/2018 3:31:45 PM)
Thank you for going the extra mile and getting the Hechsher that is known to be more careful and strict.

It is very nice to be able to eat at another eatery in Crown Heights, for those that are a little Machmir the options are very minimum, with barely a handful of restaurants with a good Hechsher around Crown Heights, so it really is nice to have another option.

Iím sure this is giving the Rebbe a lot of Nachas!

Thank you and much Hatzalcha!
(3/11/2018 3:37:41 PM)
Its not pho men, its pho people
(3/11/2018 4:29:49 PM)
I assume the menu showed is not a full menu, and there are some more plain ramen soup options at lower price than$19 a serving. Looking forward to trying it, at least once.
(3/11/2018 5:01:53 PM)
coming up:troy avenue.
the next izzy's.i can see troy turning into kingston.
(3/11/2018 5:13:51 PM)
Looks really great but unfortunately I will not be eating there due to the hashgacha. I wish you lots of luck but I really think you should look into other non controversial options, people do not want to support machloikes. I think this hechsher is a bad business decision.
(3/11/2018 5:47:04 PM)
Why the negativity?
It's a Hechsher in the CH community which, like it or not, many people use. When we decide to support our own community, we will all prosper!
(3/11/2018 7:49:11 PM)
Get real
#11- The Rebbe would only be proud of an Asian Kosher restaurant if he is proud of you posting on the Internet.
Both are signs of the society and times in which we currently live. If they are used for positive purposes, the what's the problem? If you don't like Asian food, then simply eat something else.
(3/11/2018 9:09:52 PM)
To #17
Everyone is entitled to an opinion. The only one doing any bashing (the word appears multiple times in your comment) and even threatening at the end - is you. Let's keep things civil.Opposing views are healthy.
(3/11/2018 9:44:49 PM)
Fantastic! (Plus analysis on negative comm)
Kudos on developing and introducing a novel experience in Kosher dining. Wish you tremendous Hatzlacha!

- Gashmiyus? -
As much as some might be disappointed with the gashmiyus trend, that has to do with chassidim's behavior. But the restaurants are doing a great good deed by making available gourmet food on a Glatt Kosher level, it is boon and encouragement for Yidden from all over and all walks of life to keep kosher.

- Negative Comm? -
It is plainly obvious that these are political, because the restaurant is not using "their" favored Hashgocha.

- Bottom line -
Keep the Kashrus and atmosphere Kosher, deliver your great product and I'm sure you will be very matzliach!!
(3/11/2018 10:48:29 PM)
Good luck
My only advice is have someone proof read your menu before you print the ones you use after the soft opening...
(3/12/2018 4:26:54 AM)
Great hechser!!!!
I am very happy finnally there is a meat restaraunt that I can eat at with a good hechser that is strictly kosher and 100 percent lubavitch shcita!!kol hakavod!!finnally!
(3/12/2018 1:09:06 PM)
This is great!!
I was so excited when visiting crown heights and noticed ur restaurant that was opening soon. Iím so happy for frum ppl to be able to experience the amazing cuisines of Asia. How about a kosher indian next? :) my only suggestion after looking at ur menu is to open this to vegans and vegetarians - thereís nothing like an amazing vegan pho full of veggies and tofu. So healing! Tastier than chicken soup and way healthier;) lots of luck!!! Good job:)
(3/12/2018 2:48:37 PM)
Go vegetarian, please.
We need a really nice vegetarian restaurant here more than we need yet another fleishikeh restaurant, even if it serves a variety of noodles rather than rice as a side dish.
(3/12/2018 3:52:16 PM)
My husband and I just ate their
They gave us a special treat in honor of our anniversary. It was extremely relaxing and the food was deliciously healthy. The staff was attentive and I really felt like I was in a Manhattan restaurant.
(3/15/2018 8:12:37 PM)
So excited to come!
Thank you for providing such a great experiance for us crown heightsers
(3/18/2018 9:34:42 PM)
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