What is Peli Peli
How do we describe Peli Peli? In one word, FLAVOR! Peli Peli (also known as Piri Piri or Peri Peri), which means Bird’s-Eye Chili, is a spice that was discovered by the Portuguese in the 15th Century on the plains of Southern Africa. The spice rapidly became popular when used to prepare sauces and marinades for chicken and seafood cuisine. Peli Peli's cuisine, known as South African Fusion, features authentic South African delicacies along with steak, chicken and seafood favorites that are prepared in Chef Paul Friedman's South African style. This style includes marinades, seasonings and spices used in South African cuisine with Dutch, Portuguese and Asian influences. In addition to this amazing blend of innovative cuisine, guests entering Peli Peli will embark on a journey that will capture their heart, soul and belly and enjoy a culinary experience that they have never had before.
About the Concept
Peli Peli is the only South African restaurant in Texas and the 2010 Click2Houston winner for Best Romantic Restaurant in Houston. Peli Peli is located at Vintage Park, a 100,000 square foot upscale lifestyle center that serves the communities in Northwest Houston (Hwy 249 & Louetta). Guests are invited to dine under Peli Peli’s 30-foot tall, one-of-a-kind Acacia Tree and illuminated sky which creates an atmosphere perfect for romantic dinners and special occasions. Peli Peli also features live jazz, avant-garde architecture, a spacious dining area, a Sunday brunch, full bar & lounge, a cozy, private dining room and an outdoor patio facing the Piazza. In addition to its awards for atmosphere (2009 Houston Press - Reader's Choice) and ambience (Best Romantic Bar and Music Venue - Citysearch 2009), Peli Peli is one of only a handful of restaurants in Houston that have been rated at least 4-stars on every online food and drink website.
About the Chef
Paul Friedman is the Master Chef of Peli Peli. Chef Paul has had over 35 years of experience in the restaurant industry, having owned and operated successful restaurant concepts in South Africa and Germany, as well as being the creator of Paul’s Pizza Shop, a nationally-recognized pizza concept in North Houston. Executive Chef Paul Friedman has utilized the Peli Peli spice in an innovative, unique way by infusing it with with fruitssuch as Guava, passion fruit, papaya and mango to create an explosion of flavor rather than something that is hot & spicy. The result is a myriad of marinades, seasonings and sauces that bring out the best flavors in steak, chicken and seafood and create a tingling sensation for your taste buds.
My initial response was to be properly impressed with the beautiful plating of the dish, the impressive bright colors of the veggies and sauces, the wonderful aromas that arouse the appetite but don't overpower your olfactory senses and the great variety of textures just from looking at it.
An excerpt from A Hidden Houston Gem: Peli Peli Modern South African Cuisine in Vintage Park by HankOnFood.com