Rose Garden venue for authentic Chinese fine dining

18 February, 2019 by
Hospitality Business

A unique Chinese fine dining experience has arrived in Auckland. Red Wall 1939 is a brand-new restaurant, based in Parnell, which is the brainchild of Mr Cheng Ruming, who was one of the master chefs of the controversial founding father of the People’s Republic of China, Chairman Mao Zedong, along with his co-founder and grandson Mr. Liu Jian (Kevin Liu).

Housed in a beautiful, newly-renovated heritage building in the iconic Parnell Rose Garden, Red Wall 1939’s menu is based on a traditional, formal style of banquet dining, founded in Beijing’s famous sacred palace, the Forbidden City. It includes some of Chairman and Madame Mao’s favourite dishes.

The late Cheng Ruming (1926-2012) was one of only 16 chefs in China to be named a National Pride Master of Cooking. For almost 50 years, he served a range of infamous Chinese leaders as well as dignitaries, VIPs and celebrities from around the globe, including Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Former US President Richard Nixon and former New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon.


1939 celebrates the year in which Cheng Ruming began his culinary career. While the family has a portfolio of successful restaurants in China, Red Wall 1939 is their first venture outside their homeland.

Cheng and Liu’s menu is based on the Zhōngnánhǎi cooking method, founded at the Forbidden City. Dishes include some which have previously only been served for State banquets, and to Chinese royalty and dignitaries.

Red Wall’s stunning nine-course degustation dinner menu is influenced by the eight main styles of cuisine in China, from North to South.

During the day, guests can enjoy a modern version of the traditional “Bobo Feast” (Chinese High Tea) – the first of its kind in Auckland.

Both have a modern twist and are designed to showcase the stunning NZ produce, while retaining the essence of centuries of state banquets and traditional Chinese cooking methods.

Chef Liu says, “Chinese State Banquet cuisine is very different to the takeaway, fusion or modern versions normally experienced in Auckland. China is a country where the preparation, care, attention and appreciation of food has been developed to the highest level.

“The art of Chinese cooking has developed and refined over many centuries. The finest dishes on Red Wall’s degustation menu take three or more days to prepare,” he says.

Red Wall 1939’s Bobo Feast is served Tuesday to Thursday, and Sunday, from 11:00am-2:30pm, and on Friday and Saturday at 11am to 3pm.

The evening degustation banquet is available Tuesday to Sunday at 6pm – 10pm. It is recommended guests allow three hours for the degustation.