Rice dumplings get a modern spin from some of the best restaurants in Singapore.
According to Chinese folklore, glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves (also known as bak chang or zongzi), are a symbol of tribute during the Dragon Boat Festival. Legend has it that these dumplings were thrown into a river where a famous Chinese poet drowned himself, to prevent the fishes from eating his body. Now, they’re a seasonal Chinese delicacy typically enjoyed around this time of the year, often stuffed with ingredients such as meat, chestnuts, mushrooms and salted egg yolk. Hungry for a hearty feast? These restaurants are shaking up the scene with traditional and modern renditions of rice dumplings in Singapore!
Best rice dumplings in Singapore
Balancing the old and the new, Shang Palace’s sweet and savoury creations feature an assortment of nourishing Chinese ingredients for diners. For a luxe take, try the restaurant’s Buddha Jumps Over the Wall ($108), which is stuffed with 20 ingredients including parma ham, black truffle, abalone, foie gras, sea cucumber, fish maw and organic quinoa. Want a sweet touch? The purple glutinous rice dumpling with a molten salted egg yolk custard core ($14.80) will be a lovely treat. Traditional and popular options are also available, including Nyonya style, barbecued pork, vegetarian and lotus seed paste dumplings.
Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, order online or call +65 6213 4398; available until 25 June for self-collection and delivery, free delivery with minimum order of $150.
Hai Tien Lo
Celebrate this year’s Dragon Boat Festival the Cantonese way with Hai Tien Lo’s dumpling goodies. Its grain dumpling with cordyceps flowers ($8.80) is new on the menu, alongside the signature jumbo rice dumpling ($33.80), a popular supersized treat that’s bursting at the seams with pork belly, Japanese mushrooms, dried scallops and chestnuts. Of course, you can also get familiar faves like Cantonese pork dumpling and the traditional Nyonya dumpling with pork, candied melon and Japanese mushrooms.
Hai Tien Lo, Pan Pacific Singapore, order online; available until 25 June for self-collection and delivery.
The sleek, modern Cantonese restaurant dishes out three luxe flavours this year. Its classic pork belly, dried scallop, salted egg yolk, mushroom and chestnut rice dumpling is elevated with black truffle ($28) and comes in a generous portion good for two. But the jasmine smoked pork belly ($16) and morel mushroom with pumpkin ($14) versions are just as delish!
Madame Fan, JW Marriott Singapore South Beach, order online or call +65 6818 1914; available until 25 June, free delivery with minimum order of $100.
Dive into dumplings, Cantonese-style, at Yan. The restaurant plates up abalone and fish maw, shrimp and scallop, and preserved veggies with plant-based Heura chicken varieties. But we’re most intrigued by the DIY dumpling set ($78), which lets you wrap your own ingredients to get hands-on with the traditional technique.
Yan, order online, call +65 6384 5585 or WhatsApp +65 9769 4283; available until 30 June for self-collection and delivery.
Yì by Jereme Leung
Rice dumplings get the sweet and savoury treatment here with classic and contemporary creations. For an indulgent treat, the Buddha Jumps Over the Wall rendition ($48) is laden with ingredients like South African abalone, Japanese sea cucumber, sakura ebi and Japanese dried scallops. Traditionalists can try the savoury rice dumpling ($18) with phoenix eye, Japanese dried scallops, pork belly, mushroom, salted duck’s egg and sakura ebi. Then, end off with red bean dumplings for dessert ($18 for three pieces).
Yì by Jereme Leung, Raffles Hotel Singapore, order online; available until 30 June for self-collection at Raffles Boutique and delivery.
Feast on hearty rice dumplings in Singapore with Jade restaurant’s flavourful offerings. Recipes include five-spice pork, turmeric pork with black eyed pea, fermented red yeast with pork belly, vegetarian five-grain glutinous rice with organic millet and Omnipork (it’s plant-based!), and Hong Kong-style abalone and roast meat. You can also order the eight-dumpling Golden Treasures set ($70) as a gift.
Jade, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, order online; available until 25 June, free delivery with minimum order of $100.
Get your abalone fix with Yan Ting’s signature dumpling treat ($38), which is also stuffed with roast duck meat, pork belly, shiitake mushrooms and salted egg yolk. Alternatively, go the classic route with pork belly and salted egg yolk ($22) or skip out on the meat by ordering the black glutinous rice dumpling with mixed grains and black truffle ($18).
Yan Ting, The St. Regis Singapore, order online; available until 25 June for takeaway and delivery, free delivery with minimum order of $60.
Treat yourself to the resto’s Hong Kong-style rice dumplings with abalone, roast duck, pork belly, dried scallops and beans ($32.80). These goodies are wrapped in bamboo and lotus leaves, and steamed for six hours. For your dose of collagen, try the rice dumpling with pork bone cartilage and homemade XO sauce ($18.80). Vegetarians can nibble on the brown rice creation with wild mushroom and black truffle ($18.80). Oh, and if you’d like to try all three, the assorted dumpling set ($62.80) is perfect!
Hua Ting, Orchard Hotel Singapore, order online or call +65 6739 6666; available until 25 June for pick-up, drive-through or delivery.
From traditional to contemporary, Crystal Jade’s line-up of rice dumplings includes fresh and classic faves. New in: Purple quinoa with preserved salted radish, Japanese nameko mushrooms, dried shiitake mushrooms and chestnut ($6.80), as well as spicy dried shrimp with diced chicken ($8.80). The iconic five-spice pork ($7.80) is available too, alongside a pricier Hong Kong-style dumpling ($18.80) full of ingredients such as Jinhua ham, Hokkaido conpoy and roast duck.
Crystal Jade, order online or at restaurant outlets; available until 25 June.