A New Peli Peli Kitchen Is Debuting At Whole Foods Market 365 With Breakfast And Organic Ingredients

South African fast-casual restaurant Peli Peli Kitchen is opening a new location inside the Whole Foods Market 365 at 101 North Loop West in the  Independence Heights neighborhood this summer. Menu options specific to the forthcoming in-store restaurant include organic ingredients and a breakfast menu featuring unique takes on traditional morning fare.

As part of its agreement as a “Friend of 365,” the new location must source a majority of its ingredients directly from Whole Foods and adhere to a strict list of approved ingredients. “Whole Foods takes their products very seriously,” says Peli Peli co-owner Thomas Nguyen. “We were excited about that because we were curious to see how our menu would look with an ingredient list sourced from Whole Foods. When we came on board they [Whole Foods] loved our flavors but wanted to see how those worked with their strict standards and quality requirements.”

An expanded menu includes breakfast options and a coffee bar featuring Katz Coffee. Photo courtesy of Peli Peli Kitchen

These standards mean diners can expect organic options throughout the new menu, including eggs, meats and plenty of fresh produce (For now, the organic ingredients are planned to be exclusive to the 365 location, but may expand to other Peli Peli locations at a later time).

Nguyen says one of the most notable advantages of the new spot is being able to offer breakfast. The morning mealtime was planned but never fully executed at the original Peli Peli Kitchen in Spring Branch. Peli Deli, the pop-up concept in downtown, serves breakfast but relies on a commissary format to supply dishes.

In contrast, access to ingredients just a few steps away at the new store means everything can be prepared onsite. “We are eager to take advantage of this because it will allow us to really concentrate on making the quality and style of dishes people expect, but with our own South African spin on it,” says Nguyen. “I think our customer base has always been interested in breakfast and that is one of the things Whole Foods Market 365 wanted in their Friends of 365 program. They — and we — want shoppers to have breakfast options, whether it be for a grab-and-go meal on the way to work or a leisurely visit with coffee any time of the morning.”

In addition to a coffee program featuring local roaster Katz Coffee, as well as South African rooibos tea, early risers can find breakfast sandwiches on brioche buns filled with variations like organic eggs and PPK’s own South African sausage (frikkadel), a morning take on bobotie filled with savory curried beef, fluffy scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, and sweet-tangy honey mustard chutney, and an option with fajita steak and perky peppadew salsa. Catering is available for morning gatherings and corporate or private events. Breakfast starts at 7 a.m. and runs through mid-morning (exact time is not yet determined).

The perennially favorite bobotie remains on the menu at the new location but gets an updated twist for breakfast Photo by Dragana Harris

Broadly speaking, the collaboration with 365 allows the Peli Peli restaurant family an additional avenue for connecting shoppers and consumers with the flavors of South Africa. Nguyen says Whole Foods is exploring ways to incorporate South African ingredients and products like wines, sauces, seasonings and prepackaged foods into the larger 365 product family.

“We will be able to expand our position not only in terms of creating dishes, but elevating the whole South African food category through collaboration with 365,” he says. “They like that we offer a lot of South African wines and that is an area they want to expand in their stores. They are also interested in our line of sauces and seasonings that feature the peri-peri pepper, our biltong (South African jerky) and our private-label South African wines, including the Cabernet, Pinotage, and Chardonnay.”

Since the opening date for the new Whole Foods 365 Market has yet to be announced, diners eager to check out Peli Peli Kitchen’s casual South African fusion fare can get an immediate fix at the existing Spring Branch location at 9090 Katy Freeway.

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