10 rice dumpling Bak Chang flavours you need to try
It’s that time of the year again where dragonboats course down the Singapore river and families gather to make traditional rice dumplings. If you’re tired of making your own, or want to try something different, here are 10 restaurants offering new versions of the wrapped glutinous rice treat!
1. Hua Ting, Orchard Hotel
Hua Ting Restaurant is offering a couple of perennial favourites – a savoury Hong Kong style rice dumpling and a sweet ‘kee chang’. The signature Hong Kong style rice dumpling ($32.80) is shaped like a rectangular golden pillow wrapped with bamboo and lotus leaves. Its generous filling comprises whole abalone, roasted duck, roasted pork, dried scallops, mushrooms, salted egg yolk and chestnuts. Hua Ting’s classic kee chang, which comes with red bean paste ($6.80), is excellent as a dessert or even an afternoon tea treat paired with Chinese tea. From now till June 18, you can enjoy these items for dine-in and takeaway.
There are two new dumplings: ‘mala’ rice dumpling and assorted mushroom with pork belly dumpling. The ‘mala’ rice dumpling ($8.80) teems with succulent pork shoulder and Spanish pork collar marinated in a proprietary ‘mala’ blend. The assorted mushroom with pork belly dumpling ($7.80) is crammed with three different types of mushrooms (shitake, king oyster and white button mushrooms) alongside a mixture of pork belly, chestnuts, salted egg yolk and mung beans. Besides these, Crystal Jade also offers other varieties such as premium rice dumpling with abalone ($19.80), packed with 10-head braised abalone, roasted pork, roasted duck, dried scallops, shitake mushoroms, chestnuts, salted egg yolk and mung bean. There’s also the classic rice dumpling with five-spiced marinated pork ($7.80) comprising fragrant glutinous rice, juicy pork chunks, sweet chestnuts, salted egg yolk and mung beans. The rice dumplings are available at all Crystal Jade restaurants from now to 18 June 2018.
3. Summer Palace
This year, Michelin one-star Cantonese restaurant Summer Palace introduces two new handcrafted rice dumplings: dried oyster, sea moss and kurobuta pork dumpling ($28) and the five-grain vegetarian pumpkin dumpling ($22). The latter is a healthy rendition made with a nutritious blend of five-grain variations of oat, brown rice, pre-germinated brown rice, buckwheat, and pearl barley. It is packed with a selection of quality ingredients such as pumpkin flesh, morel mushrooms, bamboo piths, sweet corn, lotus seeds and green beans, among others. The dumpling is interestingly partnered with a house-made creamy pumpkin sauce. The chef has also created an abalone steamed rice dumpling ($38) generously stuffed with a mixture of abalone, black mushrooms, chestnuts, green beans, dried scallops, roast duck and salted egg yolk, as well as sweet version with red bean paste and fragrant osmanthus honey ($13). Available at the Summer Palace from June 4 to 18.
Regent Singapore, 6725 3288/9
4. Xin Cuisine, Holiday Inn Atrium
Holiday Inn Atrium’s Xin Cuisine will roll out its best-selling rice dumpling with decadent abalone, foie gras and tea-smoked duck ($38.80) this festive period. Encased in fragrant glutinous rice is a combination of buttery foie gras and premium Australian abalone alongside the signature home-style roast duck perfumed with tea leaves. Those who prefer seafood will love the new superior fish maw and cod fish dumpling ($28.80) combined with dried scallop and salted egg yolk. New too this year is the truffle and pork belly dumpling ($18.80) which marries pork belly, preserved Chinese sausage and aromatic truffle in one delicious bundle. If you prefer traditional flavours, there’s the Xin Cuisine homemade traditional dumpling ($12.80 per dumpling, $58 for a bundle of six) – a popular signature filled with braised five- spiced pork belly, mushrooms, shrimp and salted egg yolk. The dumpling with osmanthus, ginkgo nut, and Chinese date paste dumpling ($10.80) is a lovely sweet option to round off your meal. All five dumplings are available at $88 from now till June 18
Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium, 6731 7173
5. Wan Hao, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
Wan Hao has created four rice dumpling treats including the new red vinasse chicken rice dumpling ($16). Chunks of chicken thigh meat are marinated for hours with piquant red vinasse sauce, made from the fermentation of glutinous rice, red rice yeast, rice wine, sugar and salt. The filling also comes with black-eyed beans, chestnuts and a savoury egg yolk. The sweet toothed will love the new locally-inspired coconut, brown sugar, red bean and chestnut rice dumpling ($12). The dumpling is paired with palm sugar sauce for takeaway orders, or served with refreshing coconut ice cream if you’re ordering it at Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant. Another new must-try option is the healthy black truffle five-grain vegetarian dumpling. In this East meets West creation, the premium black truffle adds a welcome earthy aroma to the mixture of black glutinous rice, glutinous rice, grain rice, as well as turnip, carrot, king oyster mushroom, black fungus, vegetarian bak kwa and braised peanuts.
Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, 6831 4605
6. Hai Tien Lo, Pan Pacific Singapore
The well-established Hai Tien Lo is offering new creations and perennial favourites for this year’s Dragon Boat Festival. Try the new classic pork knuckle dumpling with yam and peanut ($17.80) loaded with tender pork knuckle and mixed with braised peanuts and yam. Or munch on the unique brown rice and premium glutinous rice dumpling with salted egg and corn ($8.80). The signature traditional jumbo rice dumpling ($31.80) marries premium glutinous rice with quality ingredients such as dried scallops, Japanese mushroom, succulent pork belly, salted egg yolk. Other traditional flavours offered include the Cantonese pork dumpling with salted egg yolk ($13.80 per piece) and traditional Nyonya dumpling ($9.80 per piece).
Man Fu Yuan offers four varieties of handcrafted rice dumplings available for takeaway and for dine in from now till June 18. A new highlight is the barbecued smoked char siew rice dumpling ($12.80). Wrapped in glutinous rice are sumptuous slices of Man Fu Yuan’s new signature barbecued Kagoshima pork belly char siew, which is first marinated with rose wine, then barbecued until caramelised, and finished by smoking over tea leaves and wood chips. For classic flavours, the Hokkien-style rice dumpling ($9) brims with five-spice seasoned pork belly, chestnuts, and salted egg yolk. You can’t go wrong with the signature X.O. sauce Nyonya rice dumpling ($10.80), which features a generous portion of minced pork marinated in Man Fu Yuan’s special homemade X.O. chilli sauce, and livened up with sweetened strips of wintermelon and dried shrimps. For a sweet treat, try the red paste bean lye rice dumpling ($8) scented with fragrant orange peel.
Intercontinental Singapore, 6825 1062
8. Cherry Garden, Mandarin Oriental
Cherry Garden at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, presents three rice dumplings this season. Catering to the health conscious is the new five-grain rice dumpling ($16), comprising brown rice, glutinous rice, black glutinous rice, sorghum and millet. A popular mainstay is the unique creation of black garlic rice dumpling ($18) brimming with preserved vegetables, chunks of black garlic and kurobuta pork. For something more classic yet no less luxurious, share the Golden Pearl rice dumpling ($28) with hearty pork belly, abalone, chestnut, mushrooms and salted egg yolk. These savoury delicacies are available from June 8 to 18.
Mandarin Oriental Singapore, 6885 3500
9. Peach Blossoms, Marina Mandarin
Peach Blossoms celebrates the Dragon Boat Festival with a variety of rice dumplings from now till June 18. The new rice dumpling filled with abalone, sakura ebi and foie gras ($21.80) offers textural contrast with its combination of succulent abalone, velvety foie gras, and crunchy sakura ebi. Look out too for traditional ‘Hakka’ pork belly rice dumpling ($15.80), and classic Hong Kong-style rice dumpling ($28.80) filled with abalone, conpoy, pork belly, mushrooms, salted egg yolk, chestnut, lotus seeds and lentils. Health-conscious diners may choose between the multigrain rice dumpling with abalone, conpoy and pork belly ($18.80) and the wholesome vegetarian multigrain rice dumpling with cordyceps flower, black truffle and mushrooms ($11.80)
Marina Mandarin Singapore, 6845 1118
10. Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant, Sheraton Towers
From now to June 18, Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant marks Dragon Boat Festival with a selection of three homemade rice dumplings. The new multi-grain and dried seafood rice dumpling ($48) is a lavish savoury parcel packed with an assortment of dried scallop, dried oyster, dried shrimp, sea whelk, sole fish, clam and mussel. Back by popular demand, the abalone and pumpkin rice dumpling ($48) is a premium choice filled with abalone, pumpkin, chinese mushroom, pork belly, salted egg, mung bean, conpoy and chestnut. Another favourite is the traditional rice dumpling ($42) filled with pork belly, roast duck, Chinese mushroom, chestnut, salted egg, conpoy and dried shrimp.
Sheraton Towers Singapore, 6839 5623
Story by Leanne Liew. Images courtesy of respective restaurants.