VIETNAMESE restaurant chain PHO24 is trying to make Vietnamese food more accessible while trying to up their customer’s cooking game with pho meal kits.

“Filipinos love flavorful dishes, and they can satisfy their taste buds with something different through Vietnamese food that are deliciously authentic,” said Ned Bandojo, business development head for PHO24, in a statement.

The pho meal kit (pronounced “fuh”), priced at P540 for delivery, contains ingredients for two servings of the chain’s Beef Fillet Pho, said to be made with “100% premium beef slow-cooked in beef broth that has 100% beef shin bones and 24 special ingredients of herbs and spices for that deliciously authentic Vietnamese food experience.”

Pho is a noodle soup widely considered as Vietnam’s national dish and it can come in a variety of forms through the use of different broths and meat parts. But what is non-negotiable are the herbs that make pho pho, and that includes coriander, basil, bean sprouts, and lime.

This writer was sent the kit a week ago and the box contained individually packaged ingredients — the broth, the glass noodles, the herbs (including a couple of slices of chili for those who want a bit of heat), and, of course, the beef.

The box also contains cooking instructions which are pretty easy even for someone who just learned to cook in quarantine like this writer. The most important thing to remember is to thaw the ingredients — the meat and the broth — as the kit comes frozen.

It was a highly enjoyable experience being able to craft your own pho at home, especially when there’s a lack of nearby Vietnamese restaurants in your area. (Though PHO24 only has a branch in Pasay City at the Double Dragon Plaza.)

The Beef Fillet Pho was incredibly umami because of the broth and the herbs gave a refreshing twist to the soup. Also, it was raining when I cooked it so it was the absolute best weather to have pho.

My pho was moderately successful since I did not follow instructions properly and added the noodles to the broth as it cooked. But then again, if you’re a more experienced cook than I am (the bar is set very low), I would assume you’d have no problems doing this better than I did.

Aside from the pho meal kit, the restaurant also offers a Fried Spring Rolls pack (P360 for delivery transactions) and the kit includes 12 pieces of rice paper-wrapped spring rolls and Vietnamese dipping sauce which mainly consists of fish sauce and lime.

Frying these rolls up wasn’t not very hard, though I did lose quite a few because the pan wasn’t very hot when I put them in. Again, it’s my problem and hopefully not yours.

The PHO24 Meal Kits can be purchased via delivery through Facebook Online ordering and food delivery apps GrabFood, Foodpanda, and LalaFood. Those in Pasay City and nearby areas can opt for takeout from its location in Double Dragon Plaza. — Zsarlene B. Chua