Chinese New Year (also known as the Lunar New Year) is coming up quickly and we know one of the best aspects of the festivities is the food! Jau gok, Buddha’s Delight, and dumplings upon dumplings. While we all know homemade is best, if you’re struggling to secure a home-cooked meal this fast-approaching Chinese New Year, try one of our top selections to get your fix.
One of the most infamous Chinese restaurants in Auckland, Grand Harbour is synonymous with a Sunday Yum Cha session. Situated in downtown Auckland and established in 2000, it’s a staple in the Auckland dining scene, winning various culinary awards over the years. Striving to deliver the most authentic Hong Kong-style dishes, specialising particularly in duck, Grand Harbour will feel like a warm embrace come Chinese New Year. Whether you visit for lunch or dinner, the grand dining hall fits around 300 diners, making for a lively atmosphere – with BYO available too. The menu changes every three months, courtesy of experienced Hong Kong-trained chefs creating new and exciting dishes, as well as traditional favourites. The Chinese New Year menu features braised fresh lobster, salmon sashimi, pork tongue, marinated free-range chicken, steamed dumplings, and sesame balls – to name a few items. Otherwise, opt for the Yum Cha trolleys filled with fried noodles, fried rice, dim sum, and served with traditional Chinese tea.
Perfect for those who: Have tried all the yum cha’s and want the best! Big groups looking to catch up and celebrate over food.
One of the newer Chinese spots on the scene, Fang in Parnell plays on a dystopian post-apocalyptic-theme. A more contemporary take on traditional Sichuan and Chinese flavours, Fang is both trendy and authentic. Following a narrative of a dystopian future where the government homogenises all flavours, reducing everything to gruel – the Fang Yum Punks rise and rebel to bring a Sichuan flavour bomb to the people and liberate flavourful food once again. Their comic-book-style wall art and dark interior set the mood for an intimate dinner with friends, paired perfectly with their speciality cocktail menu. Otherwise, enjoy their outdoor courtyard with more casual cushioned seating and hanging lanterns. The menu leans heavily on traditional Chinese flavours, with a modern fusion twist. The first section is purely dumplings, with flavours like Sichuan Wagyu beef and pork mince. The Seafood and Meat sections showcase authentic flavours like their Bang Bang chicken cup, Chengdu Zhajiang Noodle, green curry with longline fish, and steamed baijiu lamb short rib. Add a few side dishes of deep-fried lotus, roti bread, and papaya salad and you’ll have a very satisfying spread! Top it off with your pick from their curated list of reds, whites, Champagne, and speciality beer.
Perfect for those who: Want to introduce their friends to Chinese cuisine or are looking for a more modern twist on things.
Red Wall 1939
When you’ve tried all your local and far-from-home Chinese joints and you’re looking to treat yourself to something a little extra, this is where Red Wall 1939 comes in. Boasting a brand new experience for Aucklanders, the Parnell restaurant (who’s location was chosen purely for Parnell’s charming rose garden) is the brainchild of the late Cheng Ruming and his successor and grandson, Mr Liu Jian. The interior is elegant and luxurious, with traditional touches dotted throughout the restaurant, with each dish coming out more beautiful than the last. The menu is based on a traditional state dining banquet experienced by ancient Chinese royalty and uses only the best of New Zealand’s fresh produce. Giving each dish the care, admiration, and appreciation it deserves, some banquet dishes can take up to three days to prepare. Open for lunch and dinner services, opt for one of their banquets for the full authentic experience, otherwise, the A La Carte menu is packed with seasonal favourites, aimed to please and delight.
Perfect for those who: Are wanting to spend a little extra on a fine-dining Chinese experience in a contemporary, traditional environment.