Where To Get the Best Rice Dumplings for Dragon Boat Festival 2018

Gone are the days where rice dumplings were used as fish fodder. Today, they get the gourmet treatment and are masterpieces in their own right.

By Arista Kwek | 25 May, 2018 | Features, Food
2018-05-25 13:44:31 2018-06-05 13:08:07
Gourmet rice dumplings to celebrate Duan Wu Jie
Black garlic rice dumpling at Cherry Garden

Cherry Garden, Mandarin Oriental

Cherry Garden celebrates the best of new and traditional flavours with three gourmet rice dumplings. Making its debut this year is the five grain rice dumpling ($16), inspired by the restaurant’s signature five grain fried rice. Catering to the healthy eaters, the use of whole grains such as brown rice, black glutinous rice, sorghum and millet packs a punch with its varying textures and flavours, perfectly complemented by wholesome fillings like black-eyed beans, minced chicken, and mushrooms – all of which are wok-fried before being stuffed into the dumpling. The black garlic rice dumpling ($18) is a perennial favourite, featuring chunks of aromatic black garlic, juicy kurobuta pork, bamboo charcoal powder, sea whelk and preserved vegetables. For those who prefer their rice dumplings traditional, the golden pearl rice dumpling ($28) satisfies with its hearty fillings of pork belly, abalone, chestnut, mushrooms and salted egg yolk. Dumplings available from 8 – 18 June.

5 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039797. Tel: +65 6885 3500. Website here

Where to get the best rice dumplings for Dragon Boat Festival 2018
Glutinous rice dumpling with abalone and golden dried scallops at Yan Ting

Yan Ting, St. Regis

Relish Yan Ting’s exceptional creations this season with their exquisitely crafted rice dumplings. The glutinous rice dumpling with abalone and golden dried scallops ($38) combines luscious seafood such as abalone, scallops and shrimps, with fragrant roasted duck meat, pork belly, shiitake mushrooms and salted egg yolk. Back by popular demand is the classic glutinous rice dumpling with pork belly and salted egg yolk ($22), which packs together chunks of succulent pork belly, chestnuts, shiitake mushrooms, beans and salted egg yolk. Those looking for a healthier alternative this year may want to try the vegetarian black glutinous rice dumpling with mixed grains and black truffle ($18); a hearty mix of grains, shiitake mushrooms, chestnuts and black truffle are enveloped in fragrant black glutinous rice. Share the joy of the season with the glutinous rice dumpling gift set ($68), which includes each of the three flavours available. Dumplings available till 18 June.

29 Tanglin Road, The St. Regis Singapore, Level 1U, Singapore 247911. Tel: +65 6506 6887. Website here 

Gourmet rice dumplings to celebrate Duan Wu Jie 2
Abalone and pumpkin rice dumpling from Li Bai

Li Bai, Sheraton Towers

This year, Li Bai at Sheraton Towers brings a trio of rice dumplings that cover the seafood lovers, the health-conscious, and the ones who prefer classic flavours. The timeless traditional rice dumpling ($42) is filled with the usual ingredients such as pork belly, roast duck, Chinese mushroom, conpoy and salted egg, while the premium abalone and pumpkin rice dumpling ($48) is filled with pumpkin and abalone, alongside conpoy, chestnut and pork belly. New this year is the multi-grain and dried seafood rice dumpling ($48), where grains like black glutinous rice, mung bean and black-eyed pea are filled with dried seafood such as oysters and sea whelk for a tasty and nutritious treat. Dumplings available from 1 – 18 June.

39 Scotts Road, Singapore 228230. Tel: +65 6839 5623. Website here 

Gourmet rice dumplings to celebrate Duan Wu Jie 6
Xin Cuisine’s truffle and pork belly dumpling

Xin Cuisine, Holiday Inn Atrium

Xin Cuisine’s luxurious takes on the humble rice dumpling are truly irresistible. New this year, the superior fish maw and cod fish dumpling ($28.80) marries slices of cod fish fillet and superior fish maw with dried scallop and salted egg yolk for a savoury treat. Another newcomer, the truffle and pork belly dumpling ($18.80), sees juicy pork belly wrapped up with Chinese sausage and aromatic truffle. The restaurant’s bestselling abalone, foie gras and tea-smoked duck dumpling ($38.80) returns to charm diners with fragrant glutinous rice wrapped around buttery foie gras, premium Australian abalone and their signature home-style tea-roasted duck. Those with a sweet tooth can look forward to the osmanthus, ginkgo nut, and Chinese date paste dumpling ($10.80), a subtly sweet dumpling perfumed by the delicate scent of osmanthus. The restaurant also has a traditional home-made dumpling ($12.80, $58 for a bundle of six) for those who prefer their dumplings the traditional style. An assorted rice dumpling bundle consisting of all five dumplings ($88) is also available for purchase. Dumplings available from 1 May – 18 June.

Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium, 317 Outram Road, Singapore 169075. Tel: +65 6731 7173. Website here 

Resorts World Sentosa’s signature Dumpling Festival Package

Resorts World Sentosa

RWS’ signature Dumpling Festival Package returns with an assortment of five dumplings ($98), each dumpling representing each celebrity chef restaurant’s unique culinary style. Feng Shui Inn highlights traditional Cantonese cuisine with its new territories village traditional rice dumpling, made with a whole 10-head Australian abalone, along with pork belly with fermented red beancurd paste, roast pork, yam and salted egg. Seafood lovers will appreciate the X.O. dumpling with seafood from Forest森, which is packed with dried oysters, scallop and sea whelk cooked in an aromatic chicken stock. Health aficionados can look forward to Tangerine’s organic grains, lotus seed and seaweed dumpling, which features whole grains like barley, brown rice and quinoa cooked in an kombu stock to lend a tinge of umami, mixed with slightly sweet steamed lotus seeds. True to the restaurant’s focus on meats, Osia Steak and Seafood Grill’s spiced beef cheek dumpling combines Australian grass-fed beef cheeks braised with aromatic herbs, vegetables, and an aromatic five spice concoction. Syun’s unagi dumpling presents a Japanese take on the traditional rice dumpling, pairing Japanese mochi-gome (sticky rice) with Japanese eel and shiitake mushrooms flavoured with teriyaki sauce and sansho pepper. Pre-order period: 1 May – 15 June (advance order of at least three working days required). 

8 Sentosa Gateway, 098269. Tel: +65 6577 6688. Website here

Gourmet rice dumplings to celebrate Duan Wu Jie 3
Red vinasse chicken rice dumpling from Wan Hao

Wan Hao, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza

Wan Hao unveils three new flavours, providing a delicious alternative to the traditional rice dumpling. The red vinasse chicken rice dumpling ($16) sees chunks of chicken thigh marinated in red vinasse sauce, accompanied by chestnuts, black-eyed beans and a salted egg yolk for that perfect balance of sweet and salty. The black truffle five grain vegetarian rice dumpling ($14) is the restaurant’s take on a healthier rice dumpling, combining whole grains with savoury king oyster mushroom, turnip, black fungus and vegetarian bak kwah, making it the perfect treat for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. For those with a sweet tooth, the coconut with brown sugar, red bean and chestnut rice dumpling ($12) features grated coconut infused with brown and palm sugar, as well as chestnuts and red beans. This intriguing dumpling can be accompanied either with palm sugar sauce for takeaways, or with coconut ice cream for those dining in at Wan Hao. Of course, the traditional and signature pork and salted egg rice dumpling ($16) is also available, with glutinous rice wrapped around succulent chunks of marinated pork, mushrooms, black-eyed beans, chestnuts and salted egg yolk. Dumplings available from 1 – 18 June.

320 Orchard Road, Singapore 238865. Tel: +65 6735 5800. Website here 

Gourmet rice dumplings to celebrate Duan Wu Jie 4
Man Fu Yuan’s barbecued smoked char siew rice dumpling

Man Fu Yuan, Intercontinental Singapore

Man Fu Yuan celebrates the season with a selection of classic rice dumpling flavours. The Hokkien-style rice dumpling ($9) is a timeless classic, replete with five spice seasoned pork belly, chestnuts, and salted egg yolk. The signature X.O. sauce Nyonya rice dumpling ($10.80) sees generous portions of minced pork marinated in the restaurant’s special homemade X.O. chilli sauce, coupled with sweetened strips of winter melon and dried shrimps. For those with a sweeter tooth, the red bean lye rice dumpling ($8) satisfies with generous amounts with red bean paste scented with orange peel. Of course, Wan Hao does not forget those with a penchant for trying something new – the barbecued smoked char siew rice dumpling ($12.80) is a new addition, featuring Kagoshima pork belly cooked in a char siew style, first marinated with rose wine, before being barbecued and smoked over tea leaves and wood chips. Dumplings available from 16 May – 18 June. 

80 Middle Road, Singapore 188966. Tel: +65 6825 1062. Website here

Gourmet rice dumplings to celebrate Duan Wu Jie 5
Brown rice dumpling with salted egg and corn from Hai Tien Lo

Hai Tien Lo, Pan Pacific Singapore

The rice dumplings at Hai Tien Lo are certainly for those looking for something different. This year, new flavours steal the limelight – the classic pork knuckle dumpling with yam and peanut ($17.80) packs tender pork knuckle with fragrant yam and braised peanuts for an aromatic treat, while the brown rice dumpling with salted egg and corn ($8.80) is a perfect balance between sweet and salty flavours, all encased within a nutritious package of brown rice and premium glutinous rice. All-time favourites like the traditional Nyonya dumpling ($8.80) and Cantonese pork dumpling with salted egg ($13.80) are not left behind either, as is the traditional jumbo rice dumpling ($31.80), which combines premium ingredients like dried scallops, succulent pork belly, and Japanese mushroom. In keeping with the tradition of enjoying rice dumplings with family and friends, premium rice dumpling gift sets ($68.90 or $88.90) are available, which come with a bottle of Hai Tien Lo’s Signature Homemade XO Chilli Sauce or Sweet and Sour Bean Paste Sauce. Dumplings available from 18 May – 18 June. 

7 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039595. Tel: +65 6826 8240. Website here 

Celebrate Dragon Boat Festival with these gourmet rice dumplings! (ITALICISE AND CUT DOWN SOME)
Multigrain rice dumpling with abalone, conpoy and pork belly at Peach Blossoms

Peach Blossoms, Marina Mandarin Singapore

Peach Blossoms ensures that there are rice dumplings for everyone this dumpling festival. Traditionalists will relish the Hakka pork belly rice dumpling ($15.80) and the classic Hong Kong style rice dumpling ($28.80), stuffed with the likes of abalone, conpoy, pork belly, lotus seeds and lentils. Trying to stay healthy this year? Get the multigrain rice dumpling with abalone, conpoy and pork belly ($18.80), or the vegetarian multigrain rice dumpling with cordycep flower, black truffle and mushrooms ($11.80). New this year is the rice dumpling with abalone, sakura ebi and foie gras ($21.80), a perfect play of textures with crunchy sakura ebi interweaved between creamy foie gras and chewy abalone. A gift set ($68.80) of four dumplings is also available, with each purchase qualifying for a complimentary can of Peach Blossoms’ homemade shrimp paste. Dumplings available from 18 May – 18 June.

6 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square, Singapore 039594. Tel: +65 6845 1118. Website here 

Gourmet rice dumplings to Celebrate Dragon Boat Festival 2018 1
Five-grain vegetarian pumpkin dumpling at Summer Palace

Summer Palace, Regent Hotel

Two new rice dumplings celebrating the seasonal harvest of ingredients are the highlight this year at Summer Palace. Inspired by the restaurant’s signature pumpkin seafood soup, the five-grain vegetarian pumpkin dumpling ($28) combines fresh pumpkin, morel mushrooms, sweet corn and lotus seeds in a hearty five-grain rice parcel. The dried oyster, sea moss and kurobuta pork rice dumpling ($28) sees kurobuta pork braised with dried oysters, which creates an irresistible savoury depth. Pork trotters are used, which are a less fatty alternative, and provide a nice dose of collagen. Favourites such as the abalone steamed rice dumpling ($38) –  filled with abalone, chestnuts, green beans, dried scallops, and roast duck – and the fragrant red pean paste with osmanthus honey dumpling ($13) return for another year.

1 Cuscaden Rd, Singapore 249715. Tel: +65 6725 3288/9. Website here 

Dumplings that tastes as good as it looks
Mala rice dumpling at Crystal Jade

Crystal Jade

Fancy spicy rice dumplings? Crystal Jade surprises with its new mala rice dumpling ($8.80), which sees succulent pork shoulder and Spanish pork collar pieces marinated with a piquant blend of Szechuan peppercorns, dried chillies, and chilli oil. The fiery kick is balanced by sweet chestnuts, salted egg yolk, and mung beans, making this an altogether addictive rice dumpling. The assorted mushroom with pork belly dumpling ($7.80) combines shiitake, king oyster and button mushrooms for an interesting medley of textures; each bite is a satisfying mouthful of fragrant glutinous rice, juicy pork belly, salted egg yolk and mung beans. Apart from these two new offerings, crowd-pleasers such as the classic rice dumpling with five spice marinated pork ($7.80) and the premium rice dumpling with abalone ($19.80) are on offer again this year. Dumplings available up till 18 June; orders can also be placed via their estore here.

Arista Kwek
Arista patiently waits for rice to crisp at the bottom of the pot.

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