Traditionally when you think of Chinese food, you would normally imagine a takeaway situation and not a fine dining restaurant. But for that exact reason, Red Wall 1939 has opened in the stunning newly renovated heritage building, located in the Parnell Rose Gardens in Auckland, to showcase the history and ceremony of traditional Chinese Fine Dining.
For 50 years, the late MasterChef Cheng Ruming, served famous World leaders such as U.S President Nixon, Clinton and Bush, UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, U.S Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, honoured Generals and even the late N.Z Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon. Cheng was also the personal Chef of Chairman Mao, who was so impressed with Cheng’s cooking that he published a poem about his favourite dish from the Chef, titled ‘Zisu Wuchang Fish’.
Cheng was only 1 of 16 Chefs in China to be named ‘National Pride Master of Cooking’. Considered a gastronomical national treasure, only the Elite could afford the famous ‘Cheng Banquets’. Trained in the culinary arts of English, French and Russian cooking, he knew how to bring Chinese dishes alive and make them relevant. His dishes are based on the Forbidden Palace recipes, some of them taking three or more days to prepare, but well worth the time and well worth the wait!
In 1992, his grandson Liu Jian (Kevin Liu) began to learn from him and the ways of Red Wall Zhōngnánhǎi cooking method. Following in his footsteps, Liu made waves in the culinary world, which lead him to visit New Zealand in 2016. He stayed opposite the Rose Gardens in Parnell and fell in love with his morning view of beauty and tranquillity.
This visit remained in his heart and became the catalyst to move to New Zealand and set up The Red Wall 1939 in those very gardens he loved so much. We talk with Kevin about this journey.……read the rest of this article free on issuu.com