When you think “private dining room”, you might think of exclusivity and silver service, but at Roses Dining Room, it’s a space for collaboration, experimentation and friendship.

The new space is on Karangahape Road and is from creative Auckland couple Karl Bayly and Ophelia Harradine Bayly. Both have several strings to their bows – among other things, Bayly is a chef and web developer, and Harradine Bayly is a photographer and artist.

“We’re both desperate not to have regular jobs, and are terrified of that nine-to-five situation,” Harradine Bayly tells Broadsheet.

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They both have a deep love for food, having run several local pop-up dining events together under the moniker Cooked Plates. Bayly has also worked at well-regarded Auckland restaurants including Candela and Bar Celeste.

Two years ago, they decided to create a space that was only used for events and chefs-in-residence. The plan was scuppered by Covid, but then reignited around August this year when the couple’s baby daughter Penelope was five months old. The spark was a hand-painted for-lease sign in the window of 454 Karangahape Road.

Formerly a studio and exhibition space, the tiny shop has been given a thorough renovation, with deep purple walls and a counter at the back of the room. It’s tiny – but can seat up to 26 in various seating configurations, depending on the format.

“We’re calling it a dining room,” says Harradine Bayly. “It has no opening hours or set menu, because the idea is, basically, that we host others and get to do things of our choosing.”

It builds on the growing appetite for supper clubs that allow for connection while giving people the opportunity to take part in experiential dining.

A key part of Roses Dining Room is facilitating one-off events for local chefs, winemakers and bakers, allowing them to use the space to share their vision. It gives the visitor the chance to have their own restaurant, temporarily. “You can be involved in as many details of it as you want. Which is a pretty fun opportunity, and low commitment for one night,” says King.

A host by nature, she’ll manage front of house and Bayly will provide support in the kitchen, the level of which will depend on the chef’s experience.

Roses’ first (sold-out) chef-in-residence event is with Krista On Hing of Bunanza, followed by a bakery pop-up by Mor on November 20.

You can also book now for their second chef-in-residence event with Ben Wallace (Ooh-Fa), and keep an eye out for a winemaker’s dinner on December 11, cooked by Bayly and matched with new releases from Ashleigh Barrowman Wines.

Roses Dining Room
454 Karangahape Road, Auckland