First responders, active-duty members and veterans can score a 67 cent meal at this Houston restaurant

Giving back to those have been in the front lines

South African Sampler from Peli Peli South African Kitchen (Raul Casares and Sean Maxwell)

HOUSTON – During the 1990s, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist Nelson Mandela visited the Bayou City on two separate occasions. In 1999, Mandela made his final appearance in Houston at Rice University’s Baker Institute, before passing away in 2013.

Related: Houstonians pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

Fast forward to 2020 and one Houston restaurant is honoring Mandela’s legacy and service to his people, with a special discounted meal for first responders, active duty members and veterans.

For more than 10 years, Peli Peli has been a Houston-based South African fusion restaurant, serving authentic cuisine, just one step below fine dining. With four locations across the Houston Greater area, the restaurant offers unique flavors inspired by its South African cuisine.

In 2020, this once-beloved lavished and exquisite restaurant would rebuild its menu and adapt to the financial crises many businesses had to deal with this global pandemic. For co-owners Thomas Nguyen and Ryan Stewart, Peli Peli was ready to adapt.

Related: Peli Peli owner makes Vietnamese dish with his mom

Within the last few months, Peli Peli has rebranded and rebuilt its restaurant to Peli Peli South African Kitchen.

Because of COVID-19 the business had to adapt to the economic impact, introducing lower price point meals. In April, it partnered with Kroger and provided delicious meals in a box at an affordable price.

“We’re trying to change from being that special occasion destination to everyday experience,” said Nguyen. “To do that, we are completely changing the menu.”

New dishes include Cape Malay Crab Curry, Espetadas (sizzling meat skewers dripping with garlic butter and served tableside) and Ribeye.

The restaurant is also featuring a Shebeen menu available all day, which includes South African pub food such as JoBurger and Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwich among other dishes.

Giving Back with a delicious meal

Part of Peli Peli South African Kitchen’s DNA is giving back to the community. Since 2009, the restaurant has partnered with several organizations and has given back countless times to the Houston community.

In July, the restaurant wants to thank its veterans and first responders with a delicious and affordable meal.

“Right now with family and people being furloughed. I think people are just going to be very cautious with their spending,” said Nguyen. “I want to offer them a great meal at a price where they can afford it and take their families out.”

In honor of Nelson Mandela’s birthday in July and his 67 years of service to the people of South Africa, Peli Peli South African Kitchen will be serving a $0.67 entrée for any first responders and active duty or veteran.

“People probably need a pickup, they probably need a smile,” said Nguyen. “I hope this gets people back in the spirit of giving.”

Nguyen encourages to bring friends who are first responders or veterans who need a smile or warm delicious meal.

“I think it’s easy for people to forget how much work they [first responders] have put in since March,” he said. “This is a fun way to give them a great meal.”

For any first time visitors, Nguyen stated you can expect an experience like no other, and be introduced to a cuisine mixed with many other influences.

“Living in Houston, there are so many types of cuisines,” said Nguyen. “We’re excited because people who eat at Peli Peli South African Kitchen, they’re going to be introduced to world flavors they probably never had before.”

Peli Peli South African Kitchen’s $0.67 offer will be valid from July 21 until Friday, July 31, 2020. Badges or ID’s will be required for verification. This offer will only be available at its Galleria and Woodlands location.

To redeem, guests must make a reservation through its website at or by calling 281-257-9500 and include “MANDELABIRTHDAY” in the reservation notes.

This offer is available for dine-in, takeout and curbside pickup. For more details about this offer and exclusions, you can visit its website here.