Peli Peli Opens Fourth Location In The Woodlands

After a decade of serving South African cuisine to Houston, Peli Peli has opened its fourth location at 1201 Lake Woodlands Drive at The Woodlands Mall. Inspired by Cape Dutch architecture, Peli Peli’s transformation of the former Mi Cocina restaurant includes whitewashed walls with a bright red logo, cottage pane windows and stained wooden beams. Inside the restaurant, guests will experience subtle rustic elements with light features on the ceiling designed to mimic the starry night sky of the Western Cape of South Africa.

“We’ve wanted to open in The Woodlands for a long time,” says Peli Peli Hospitality Group cofounder and chief marketing officer Thomas Nguyen. “It’s a dream scenario that we’ve found a location that will have everything we’ve always wanted in one space — a private dining room, bar and beautiful patio featuring an ivy-covered trellis — all in a community similar to that of Vintage Park, where we got our start and have developed lasting relationships.”

Peli Peli’s main dinning room features design elements inspired by Cape Dutch architecture. Photo by Sabrina Miskelly.

Along with the new location comes a revamped menu with reduced prices, updated recipes and even more authentic South African flavors. Leading the change is new executive chef Ryan Stewart from Johannesburg. Stewart is the co-founder of Mozambik, a popular South African eatery known for Peli Peli’s namesake, piri piri, an indigenous sweet pepper. “The food at Peli Peli is for everybody,” says Stewart, “and certainly for diners looking for something different. We’ve learned that all ages gravitate to what we provide because while the ingredients are familiar but the menu is unique.”

The redesigned menu has more health-conscious choices that include smaller portions and a wider variety of vegetarian and seafood options. Prices have been reduced on popular items such as the bobotie, espetada and the famous sticky toffee pudding. Some of the new entrées include Steak Frites, Seared Scallops and Porto Shrimp Scampi. (According to a Facebook post by Nguyen, the menu changes apply not only to the new Woodlands location but also to the original Vintage Park one. Peli Peli plans to roll out the new menu and better pricing to the Galleria and Katy locations in the coming weeks as well.)

Seared scallops with a cauliflower bacon corn succotash. Photo by Sabrina Miskelly.

The Woodlands location has a full-service bar and a cocktail menu that focuses on classics with a South African twist, such as the Dirty Blue Martini with a gorgonzola-stuffed peppadew and an Old Fashioned made with Bain’s Cape Mountain whiskey. The updated wine program features South African varietals — an obvious choice for pairing with the food.

Peli Peli in The Woodlands is open daily for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Happy hour happens on weekdays from 2 to 7 p.m. Brunch is offered weekends before 4 p.m. Reservations and walk-ins are both accepted.

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