Since opening in February, Boru Boru has added a touch of kosher flavor to Manhattan’s Asian cuisine scene. With its kosher ramen bowls and pork-free braised meats, the Japanese-inspired eatery is the brainchild of Daniel Zelkowitz.
A graduate of Yeshiva University, Daniel Zelkowitz has extensive experience in the restaurant industry and has helped open several restaurants and sports bars. However, due to the strict kosher diet that he follows as an Orthodox Jew, Zelkowitz was never able to eat at any of his business ventures. Frustrated at being unable to enjoy Japanese and Chinese cuisine, he decided to launch Boru Boru, an Asian restaurant for patrons who follow a kosher diet. Instead of eschewing traditional dishes based heavily on pork and seafood, Zelkowitz developed kosher alternatives. The restaurant’s menu features chicken and vegetable-based concoctions that have been retooled from non-kosher pork-based broths.
Boru Boru officially launched on February 11 on Amsterdam Avenue. It is located in the space previously occupied by Joon’s Westside Fish Market, which closed in November after 30 years of operation. The space has been extensively renovated, and the new dining area now features plush leather booths, exposed red brick and Japanese-style murals. In keeping with its Jewish roots, the restaurant is closed on Friday and Saturday in observance of Shabbat.
Boru Boru’s dishes are primarily drawn from Japanese cuisine, although the menu does include Korean-influenced dishes like Korean-style fried chicken wings and Chinese-style baozi, succulent Chinese buns given a kosher twist by being stuffed with pastrami and mushrooms. Boru Boru has become known for its kosher and vegetarian ramen bowls, seasoned with mushrooms, chicken, cauliflower and tofu instead of pork. The menu also features a tasty char siu brisket, a fusion of Jewish and Chinese culinary traditions.