farewell, peli peli

Pioneering South African restaurant ends its Houston run and cooks up new Portuguese flair

Pioneering South African restaurant ends its Houston run + refreshes

Mozambik Camp Malay samosas
Mozambik will open in September. Courtesy of Mozambik

A Houston restaurant known for South African cuisine will soon close for good. Peli Peli South African Kitchen will be replaced by Mozambik, a Portuguese-inspired restaurant with locations in South Africa and Zambia.

Mozambik will take over Peli Peli's locations in the Galleria and in The Woodlands; Peli Peli's last day of service will be September 5. Mozambik will open in The Woodlands on September 10 with the Galleria location to follow after interior renovations that will bring it in line with the Cape Dutch style at its corporate sibling. 

“We want to thank all of the guests who have supported Peli Peli through the years,” Mozambik CEO Ryan Stewart said in a statement. “We know there’s an appetite for great South African food in Houston, and we are very excited for the opportunity to bring Mozambik to the US.”

Stewart, who previously served as Peli Peli's executive chef and director of operations, will lead Mozambik's American operations. After operating locations of Mozambik in South Africa, Stewart moved to Houston in 2018 and began transforming Peli Peli with changes designed to broaden its appeal.

During his tenure, Stewart introduced some of Mozambik's dishes to the menu, such as its signature peri peri chicken. In addition, he led a shift away from the restaurant's fine dining roots towards a more affordable price point. 

Mozambik's menu will also include dishes like Sodwana Bay crab cakes, Malay curry, and bobotie, a South African take on shepherd's pie. Beverage offerings will include South African wines as well as cocktails that are popular in South Africa.

“Mozambique is a popular vacation destination for South Africans,” Stewart said in a statement. “The food is influenced by the Portuguese, and that combined with the local cuisine has become part of South Africa’s diverse cultural landscape. Mozambik is more than a restaurant — it’s a destination and an immersive experience. We like to say it’s a ‘taste of escape.’”