Celebrate Dragon Boat Festival with a bite of the best rice dumplings in Singapore. They’re a total treat!
According to Chinese folklore, glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves (also known as bak chang or zong zi), are a symbol of tribute during Dragon Boat Festival (14 June). 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
1. Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
Feeling indulgent? Treat your family to the 5-head Australian abalone with Iberico and parma ham rice dumpling ($28). This new creation will kick off your meal with fragrant goodness. If you’re more of a spicy fiend, try the Sichuan pepper chicken with lotus root, fungus, peanuts and mushroom ($14). Think mala xiang guo but in a rice dumpling version. Psst: plant-based enthusiasts will enjoy the black truffle 5-grain ($14) stuffed with brown rice, oats, sorghum rice, barley, pearl rice and a medley of veggies.
Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant, order online from now till 14 June
2. Jade at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
This year’s Jade Originals rice dumplings collection ranges from classics to healthier alternatives to new locally-inspired goodies. The ginseng chicken ($18) makes its debut, giving you all the comfort food feels with bits of Chinese ham, black mushroom and salted egg yolk. If you love your bak kut teh, this fresh addition is a herbal blend of marinated pork belly, salted egg yolk, black mushroom and red beans ($12). Trying to eat clean(er)? The organic millet 5-grain OmniMeat rendition ($12) is calling out your name.
Jade, order online from now till 14 June
3. Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant at Sheraton Towers Singapore
Sheraton Towers Singapore’s resto crafts three glorious renditions for Dragon Boat Festival this year. New to the line-up, the vegetarian multi-grain rice dumpling is stuffed with meat-free nuggets, mushroom varieties, fungus, beancurd skin, kidney beans, lotus seeds and chestnuts ($28 for 500g). If you prefer the traditional taste, its classic is packed with pork belly, roast duck, Chinese mushroom, chestnuts, salted egg, conpoy and dried shrimp ($48 for 1kg). Love abalone? Get yours with pumpkin, pork belly and the works ($48 for 800g).
Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant, order online from now till 14 June
4. Peach Blossoms at Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay, Singapore
Feed the fam with the hearty new blazing pig trotter rice dumpling ($68.80) that’s encased in clay and baked to perfection. Each bite surfaces chunks of pork in fermented beancurd, abalone, conpoy, Japanese flower mushroom and chestnut for a medley of textures. Looking for tried and tested recipes? Popular picks include premium XO Cantonese rice dumpling ($36.80) with Kurobuta pork belly or Hakka Kurobuta pork belly rice dumpling ($18.80) with salted egg yolk. If you like it sweet, dig into the Hokkaido sweet potato version ($16.80) with a molten custard core.
Peach Blossoms, order online from now till 14 June
5. Regent Singapore
Get your yearly fill of steamed rice goodies from Regent Singapore. This bamboo leaf-wrapped treat ($42) is great for sharing with the fam. Fillings include abalone, chestnuts, dried scallop, roast duck and salted egg yolk. Vegetarians can enjoy a sumptuous truffle version with steamed morel mushrooms, lotus seeds, oats, barley and green beans ($25.98). Or go the sweet route with red date paste and osmanthus honey ($15).
Regent Singapore, order online from now till 14 June
6. Shang Palace at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
Whether you like it healthy or you’re a stickler for tradition, the rice dumplings from Shang Palace are a beaut. For something elegant and elevated, the new applewood-smoked creation is packed with abalone, matsutake mushroom, foie gras and smoked chicken ($108 for 750g). Your entire fam will enjoy the premium ingredients enhanced by a smoky fragrance and Sichuan chilli sauce to pair. This baby’s limited to just 100 pieces, so get your order in early!
To try a bit of everything, get the exquisite Heritage of Asia gift set ($68 for six pieces) to savour rice dumplings stuffed with abalone, foie gras and parma ham, custard and more. Psst: don’t forget about the hotel’s signatures, classic Nonya dumplings and veggie-friendly alternatives, too.
Shang Palace, order online from now till 14 June
7. Crystal Jade
From sweet to savoury, Crystal Jade has it all. Sink your teeth into the new braised pork belly with purple glutinous rice dumpling ($9.80) chock full of shiitake mushrooms and chestnuts – it’s just like grandma’s comfort food. Or end your meal with a mini mango sago crystal jelly dumpling ($7.80 for three) featuring fresh mango, pomelo and basil seeds. Returning faves include spicy dried shrimp with chicken ($8.80), Hong Kong-style Jinhua ham with conpoy and roast pork ($19.80) and five-spice marinated pork with salted egg yolk and mung bean ($8.80).
Crystal Jade, order online from now till 9 June or at restaurant locations until 14 June
Find your fave rice dumplings in Singapore and stick to ’em!