We can’t believe that it is already close to end of May soon, which heralds Dragon Boat Festival, occurring on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunar calendar every year. It is almost customary to have rice dumplings or Bak Zhang during this period, where we also see that the flavours offered are getting increasingly creative. Here are 6 restaurants where you can get your Bak Zhang this year, most of which have retained some bits of the traditional flavour while introducing a modern twist to its flavours.
Golden Peony, Conrad Centennial Singapore
Golden Peony introduces two new creations of Rice Dumpling – the local favourite inspired Singapore Chilli Crab Rice Dumpling (SGD28.00) filled with chilli crab claw meat, accompanied by homemade chilli crab sauce, and the Black Truffle, Morel Mushroom and Chicken Meat Rice Dumpling (SGD12). Other perennial favourites include the Traditional ‘Hong Kong Style’ Rice Dumpling (SGD28), healthy Vegetarian Wholesome Multigrain Rice Dumpling (SGD8 per piece)., and sweet Red Bean Paste Rice Dumpling (SGD8).
When: May 8 to June 9, 2016
Where: Golden Peony (level 3) and The Terrace (lobby level), Conrad Centennial Singapore
Hai Tien Lo, Pan Pacific Singapore
From 9 May to 9 June 2016, Executive Chef Lai Tong Ping at Hai Tien Lo has prepared some classic favourites and some traditional flavours with a contemporary twist. The Traditional Cantonese Jumbo Rice Dumpling (SGD29.90) is packed with premium ingredients such as Dried Oysters, Dried Scallops, Japanese Mushroom, succulent Pork Belly and Salted Egg Yolk. Some new flavours launched this year include the Classic Five-Spice Rice Dumpling with Pork Belly and Yam (SGD19.90), Fragrant Red Bean Dumpling with Multi-Grain Rice (SGD9.90) for the health-conscious and vegetarians. Other popular flavours making a comeback this year include the Traditional Pork Dumpling with Dried Shrimps (SGD7.90) and the classic Nyonya Chicken Dumpling (SGD7.90). Undecided? Go for the Premium Rice Dumplings Gift Set, consisting of three flavours (Traditional Cantonese Jumbo Rice Dumpling, Classic Five-Spice Rice Dumpling with Pork Belly and Yam, Fragrant Red Bean Dumpling with Multi-Grain Rice) exquisitely packaged with a bottle of Hai Tien Lo’s Signature Homemade XO Chilli Sauce.
When: 9 May to 9 June 2016 (Pre-orders from 2 May)
Where: Hai Tien Lo (Level 3), 7 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039595
Li Bai, Sheraton Towers Singapore
From 23 May to 9 June 2016, Li Bai will be presenting a selection of three homemade rice dumplings. A new creation this year by Executive Chef Chung Yiu Ming is the Steamed Rice Dumpling with Sea Whelk and Dried Seafood (SGD45), packed with wholesome ingredients namely Pumpkin, Chestnuts, Chinese Mushrooms and a generous serving of seafood such dried scallops, prawns and more. The other two traditional favourites are the
Steamed Traditional Rice Dumpling (SGD40), which comprises mouth-watering Pork Belly, Roast Duck, Chinese Mushrooms, Chestnuts, Salted Egg, Conpoy and Dried Shrimps. For something more luxurious, there is the Steamed Abalone and Pumpkin Rice Dumpling (SGD45), filled with premium ingreditents such as Abalone, Pumpkin, Chinese Mushrooms, Pork Belly, Salted Egg, Mung Bean, Conpoy and Chestnut.
When: 23 May to 9 June 2016
Where: Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant, Sheraton Towers Singapore
Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel
Shang Palace has introduced six new rice dumplings flavours such as the Bird’s Nest Rice Dumpling with Salted Egg Yolk (SGD42.80 nett), Black and White Glutinous Rice Dumpling (SGD23.55 nett) and Custard and Abalone and Porcini Pesto Rice Dumpling (SGD40.65 nett) alongside traditional favourites like Shang Palace Signature Rice Dumpling (SGD23.55 nett). To complement the festivities, Master Chef Steven Ng has crafted a seven-course Dragon Boat festive set menu available for lunch and dinner. Other flavours include Pork Belly with Eel Rice Dumpling (SGD21.40 nett), Sakura Dried Shrimp with Spicy Cumin Chicken Rice Dumpling (SGD17.10 nett), Five Grain Truffle-Infused Vegetarian Rice Dumpling (SGD19.25 nett) and Sweetened Vegetarian Rice Dumpling with Lotus Seed Paste (SGD15.00 nett).
When: 23 May to 9 June 2016
Where: Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
Yan Ting, The St. Regis Singapore
From Yan Ting at The St. Regis Singapore, expect popular favourites such as the Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Abalone and Golden Dried Scallops (SGD33), packed with premium ingredients like abalone and scallops, alongside with meats like roasted duck meat and pork belly, and accompaniments of chestnuts, salted egg yolk, shiitake mushrooms and lotus seeds. Another perennial favourite to try is the Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Pork Belly and Salted Egg Yolk (SGD16), made complete with dried scallops, chestnuts, salted egg yolk, shiitake mushrooms and beans. Alternatively, something healthier to consider this year is the new Vegetarian Black Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Mixed Grains (SGD13).
When: 12 May to 15 June 2016
Where: Yan Ting, The St. Regis Singapore
The Connoisseur Concerto (TCC)
TCC will be launching its rice dumplings this year, yes you heard it right. Shaped in a Japanese Onigiri, there are three flavours at play – Teriyaki Unagi (SGD7.90), Sambal Hotate (SGD7.90) and the locally inspired Spicy Chic (SGD6.50) rice dumpling. Go for the spicy chic if you prefer something more tangy, loaded with chicken, dried chili and cashews. If you choose to dine-in at any tcc boutiques, you get to enjoy these dumplings at a special price of $3 per piece with any beverage ordered.
When: 13 May to 12 June 2016
Where: All tcc boutiques
Ranted by The Ranter