I entered the food blogger scene about two years ago and during that time I have attended tons of events hosted by South African restaurant Peli Peli. From popups, tv show premieres to tastings at Peli Peli Kitchen and Peli Deli. Somehow I managed to never stop by Peli Peli in the Galleria mall despite even having gift cards to use for a visit! Well, I finally joined the in crowd and visited Peli Peli last week to preview their Cirque Du Soleil, KURIOS at Peli Peli Menu!
Peli Peli is growing faster than I can keep up. The original Peli Peli has two locations, one inside of the Galleria mall and another in Vintage Park. They also expanded to a fast casual off of I10 and Campbell near Memorial City Mall. Finally, Peli Deli is now serving up lunch downtown in the Esperon Building on Travis Street (check out my Instagram for photos from my visit there).
This visit lead me to the Galleria location. I entered from the parking garage below Oceannaire and Forever 21, which was close to the Peli Peli location. The restaurant can also be entered from the street from the Westheimer side with valet available as where. Once inside, you find will find a dark and romantic restaurant that stretches towards the back. I joined several other bloggers for what would be a fun family style dinner.
Up first, we tried a duck liver pate served as a slider on a pretzel bun with raspberry chipotle sauce and the bobotie, a South African Shepherd’s Pie. I tried duck liver during a trip to Nashville, so I knew despite the name I actually liked it. In this case, the flavors were there and the bun was perfect. I just could not get over the standard temperature of the pate which was cold. I nibbled on the pretzel bun instead. The bobotie was definitely the winner among the appetizers! It was the epitome of a comfort food and made me want to cuddle up with a bowl of it on a cold day.
Peli Peli presented the entrees in such grand fashion that we spent so much time capturing “the essence” with pictures. First up, we received a pair of “espetadas” chicken and pork belly. The pork dish is fairly new to Peli Peli, but Peli Peli Kitchen is being winning on that front for awhile so I had no doubts this dish was would be excellent. The pork was charred to a crisp making for a crunchy outside with tons of flavor and a soft inside. With the chicken, I could literally see the garlic coating the dish so I KNEW this would be great as well.
Next we tried the fried kinglip, their version of fish and chips minus the chips and the beef tongue. You read that right, beef tongue! When they placed the beef tongue on our table, I was immediately teleported back to a field trip I had in the fourth grade at the Taste of Texas. These are the kinds of field trips kids in Houston had during Rodeo Season. In the weeks leading up to the trip our teachers teased that we would be eating “cow tongue” on this field trip and we of course pleaded with them. In the end, we were served up chicken tenders and I thought I had dodged that bullet for a lifetime. Yet, here I was over twenty years later faced with what truly looked like “beef tongue” sitting in front of me! I took a small bite and thought it tasted just like a good pot roast. Once I got over the fact that I was using my tongue to eat I tongue I did actually enjoy it! Shocker I know.
Now on to my favorite part of the meal, dessert! Usually tastings include one dessert, but Peli Peli really spoiled us with two. We tried the South African Nougat Ice Cream and Sticky Toffee Pudding. The first dish was a pistachio ice cream with nougat at the bottom (think rice krispie treats). Pistachio is slowly becoming my new favorite ice cream and this one is great version! Finally, my favorite dish of the night,the Sticky Toffee Pudding! This cake is amazing! It’s served warm with a scoop of ice cream and is finger licking good.
Peli Peli certain lived up to the hype and was what I expected after trying their other ventures. I will definitely be back for a good upscale dinner and when I’m just craving South African food, I will opt for delivery from Uber. Kurios is still in town till May 21st and this menu will be available until then. The tickets start at just $35 and after attending myself last month it is certainly a MUST see! Also, after you have a good time at Kurios, be sure to bring your tickets to Peli Peli for $5 off your next meal.