Bone Kettle serves fresh, bold Southeast Asian flavors


Sara Yen

In lowercase serif font, Bone Kettle’s simple yet modern sign hangs in front of the restaurant. The eatery is located on 67 N Raymond Ave in Old Town Pasadena nearby the California Institute of Technology and the Metro Gold Line.

by Sara Yen, Assistant Features Editor

As soon as you walk into Bone Kettle, the first thing that most likely catches your attention is the modern design of the restaurant. Thin wooden panels and bold artwork pad the walls of the eatery, which is lit up by lightbulbs encased in upside down glass jars. Creating an almost tropical feel, large leafy plants in front of the restaurant’s bar greet incoming guests as they walk through the door. Light pop and jazz music fills the restaurant, setting a casual, playful ambience.

Bone Kettle is a restaurant located on 67 N. Raymond Ave in Old Town Pasadena nearby the California Institute of Technology and the Metro Gold Line. Large windows toward the front of the eatery showcase the busy, energetic streets of the city.

Vivid, fruity drinks can start off the meal. Bone Kettle’s Dragonfruit Lychee Lemonade captures your eyes with its top layer of bright pink dragonfruit concentrate fading into the clear lychee juice at the bottom of the glass. Refreshingly, the sweet floral flavor of the lychee blends with the light hints of dragonfruit to coat the tongue.

Another colorful drink is the Raspberry Yuzu Lemonade. With colors akin to a striking sunset, the drink is stratified into three layers. At the top is a deep purple and hibiscus-flavored layer, which blends into the paler section of tangy yuzu. Toward the bottom of the glass lies a dark red layer of raspberry. When mixed together, the flavors merge into a burst of citrus and sweetness.

Next in the course are appetizers, which range from salads to vegetable dishes from $9-$18. One flavorful dish in particular is the Char Kway Teow, which, according to the National Library Board Singapore, is popular in Penang, Malaysia. Sweet and savory, the noodle dish includes lap cheong (sweet sausage), fresh green onions and shrimp. The crunchiness of bean sprouts along with the chewiness of the shrimp gives the dish texture and bite.

The restaurant is known for its noodles and bone broth, which is simmered for 36 hours with Southeast Asian ingredients to develop strong, complex flavors. With the lowest priced at $14 and the highest at $24, the different broth flavors are Prime Top Sirloin, Ginger Seared Chicken, Prime Fatty Brisket, St Helen’s Braised Ox Tails and Crispy Tempeh.

When the meal first arrives, the noodle bowls only contain thinly sliced heirloom carrots, red onions and cilantro atop chewy artisanal ramen noodles. Soon after, the server returns with a large thermos and pours the steamy broth over the noodles. The combination of the rich flavors from the broth and the light notes from the vegetables work together to create an intense blend of savoriness.

Other entrees that Bone Kettle offers are sandwiches and rice plates. Sandwiches have flavors of Confit Chicken, Brisket Dip or Oxtail for the price of $15-$17. Accompanied by an egg and a range of vegetables, the rice plates include a choice of proteins, including Top Sirloin, Chicken Confit, Fatty Brisket, Crispy Tempeh and Alaskan Salmon Filet for $15-$21.

Overall, if you’re looking for a slightly upscale restaurant with fresh ingredients and bold Southeast Asian flavors, go to Bone Kettle.