HOUSTON, April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- While successfully serving the community of north Houston at Vintage Park for six years, Peli Peli restaurant is excited to introduce its South African cuisine to a larger Houston audience at its second location in The Galleria. The restaurant occupies the 5,285-square-foot space formerly leased by Gigi's Asian Bistro at 5085 Westheimer Rd, including a 1,500 square-foot patio space with seating for 40.
"Our goal is to provide a dining and tasting experience unlike any other," says Executive Chef Paul Friedman. With that in mind, architect Si Dang of Andria Design (Moody Gardens, Houston Baptist Cultural Arts Center, and KUU Restaurant) has designed an enchanting dining space featuring a domed ceiling emulating the view beneath a canopy of trees in the middle of the desert, created by a backlit pattern of leaves and branches with color-changing LED's programmed to mimic watching the sunset within a one hour period. "The design of the restaurant is inspired by the food and culture of Peli Peli," says Dang. "The vibrant flavors of the food and warm hospitality have been infused into every detail and overall ambiance of the interiors."
A late night lounge boasts three works of art by world-renowned performance painter David Garibaldi. Created on site, the paintings include South African leader Nelson Mandela, Jesus Christ, and the third, a scene from Friedman's childhood in South Africa, depicting a young boy's momentous encounter with a lion underneath a majestic acacia tree. The main bar is surrounded by a warm glowing envelope of honey onyx, a naturally translucent stone. It is 40 feet in length, the largest bar in The Galleria, and is backed by a wall of TVs.
Peli Peli's menu evokes Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, and Indian cuisines, the melting pot of South Africa. The marriage of these cultures' spices is revealed in Peli Peli's signature dishes, including their legendary bobotie, a cottage pie featuring curried house-made sausage and carrot bredie, topped with a pastry lid and mango chutney. Although grilled beef, lamb, and chicken dominate the menu, Friedman is also a master at preparing seafood and dessert. His playful take on the traditional melktert (milk pie) is a popular finale.
Expect the largest collection of South African wines in the country, including Peli Peli private label wines. A captain's list of boutique wines from California, Spain and France adds depth to the selection. A well-trained staff will be on hand to assist guests in finding the perfect wines to pair with the exotic dishes.
"South African Flavor, Southern Hospitality" is the restaurant's motto, distinguishing Peli Peli from over 7,000 restaurants in the Greater Houston area. A faithful following has resulted in numerous awards, including Best Service, Best Atmosphere and Best Romantic Restaurant, among others. Peli Peli is consistently ranked among the top three restaurants in Houston on TripAdvisor®.
For Peli Peli, the goal is to be more than just a restaurant. "We want to give back to the community, in Houston and beyond," says Thomas Nguyen, chief marketing officer and co-owner. Earlier this year, Peli Peli announced a year-round charity initiative, featuring a charity-of-the-month program, in which $4 for each "Tour of South Africa" dinner sold will be donated to that charity. The restaurant also hosts four major charity events each year to create unique and positive experiences for those less fortunate. Most recently the restaurant raised $10,000 for Texas Children's Hospital at their first golf charity classic and hosted a South African culinary carnival for The Sunshine Kids (dedicated to children with cancer).
Peli Peli, named after the South African bird's eye chili pepper peri peri, will remain open seven days a week, serving lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday and brunch and dinner on Saturdays and Sundays. For reservations, contact www.opentable.com or call 281-257-9500. For more information visit www.pelipeli.com or follow the restaurant on Facebook at www.facebook.com/peligalleria, Twitter at www.twitter.com/pelipeli or Instagram at www.instagram.com/peli_peli. A video of performance painter Garibaldi creating the art for Peli Peli may be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1FFyFr1.
Peli Peli, with locations at 110 Vintage Park Blvd, Houston TX 77070 and The Galleria at 5085 Westheimer Rd, Houston TX 77056, features award-winning South African cuisine by Executive Chef Paul Friedman.
SOURCE Peli Peli