On the 5th day of the 5th lunar month every year, Chinese everywhere celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. Also known as Duan Wu Festival (端午节), it falls on 7 June this year. However, you and I probably know it best as Bak Chang (粽子) season! After all, what better reason to indulge in decadent glutinous rice dumplings than in the name of tradition?
To curate this list, we’ve harnessed the most discerning taste buds and picked the best of Bak Chang 2019. Now you’re all prepared to rice to the occasion! For a complete cultural experience, scroll down to discover Dragon Boat Festival-themed happenings too.
Bak Chang 2019: Gourmet Rice Dumplings from Award-winning Restaurants
1. Singapore Chilli Crab, Prawn and Whole Bedford Scallops Rice Dumpling – Golden Peony
Adding a twist to the traditional rice dumpling, the innovative Golden Peony kitchen introduces the Singapore Chilli Crab, Prawn and Whole Bedford Scallops Rice Dumpling ($28.80). It combines Singapore’s iconic crab dish with luxurious ocean harvests. Another fresh alternative to traditional pork-based dumplings is the Chinese Wine Sakura Chicken, Salted Egg Yolk Rice Dumpling ($24.80).
Available from now to 7 June at Golden Peony, Level 3, Conrad Centennial Singapore. Place your order by 26 May to enjoy a 20% early bird discount. To order, call 6432 7482, email [email protected] or shop online
2. Vegetarian Five-grain and Assorted Mushrooms with Omnipork Glutinous Rice Dumpling – Jade Restaurant
Perfect for vegetarians, vegans and health-conscious families, Chinese Executive Chef Leong Chee Yeng presents the Vegetarian Five-grain and Assorted Mushrooms with Omnipork Glutinous Rice Dumpling ($10 nett). It combines five spice-scented glutinous rice with wholesome grains such as oats, barley and brown rice. Lightly pan-fried with ginger, the revolutionary plant-based protein Omnipork replaces the usual meat. It’s also available in gift baskets featuring a selection of eight assorted Jade Originals Rice Dumplings.
Available from now till 7 June at Jade Restaurant, Lobby Level, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. To order, call The Fullerton Cake Boutique at 6877 8943 or shop online
3. Kurobuta Pork Nyonya Dumpling – Mitzo Restaurant & Bar
Mitzo’s inventive Executive Chef Nicky Ng gives the classic Nyonya bak chang a modern twist. The Kurobuta Pork Nyonya Dumpling ($15) packs Kurobuta pork belly and sliced winter melon into fragrant glutinous rice. Or indulge in the decadent Abalone Rice Dumpling ($28), full of premium abalone, dried scallop, duck meat, Kurobuta pork belly, lotus seed and green bean. The Sweet Rice Dumpling with Rose Lotus Paste ($8) combines white lotus paste with rose tea for an elegant treat.
4. Lao Gan Ma Chilli Sauce Chicken Rice Dumpling – Man Fu Yuan
Inspired by another signature Singaporean dish is the Lao Gan Ma Chilli Sauce Chicken Rice Dumping ($13.80 nett) from Man Fu Yuan. Tender chicken and shrimps are combined with the piquant Chinese condiment. The ingredients are ensconced within blue-marbled glutinous rice, which gets its colour from the trend-of-the-moment butterfly pea flower. Also new this year are the Hakka Preserved Vegetables Rice Dumpling ($13.80 nett) and Black Sesame Rice Dumpling ($8.80 nett).
Available from now to 7 June at Man Fu Yuan, Level 2, InterContinental Singapore. Place your order by 26 May to enjoy a 15% early bird discount. To order, call 6825 1062, email [email protected] or shop online
5. Black Garlic Rice Dumpling – Cherry Garden
Perennial favourite at Cherry Garden, the Black Garlic Rice Dumpling ($18) features chunks of black garlic and Kurobuta pork. Tinged with bamboo charcoal powder, it also contains sea whelk and preserved vegetables. Also returning is the Five Grain Rice Dumpling ($18), a spin-off from the restaurant’s popular Five Grain Fried Rice. Traditionalists will appreciate the savoury Golden Pearl Rice Dumpling ($28), which showcases slow-braised abalone in the classic pork belly dumpling.
6. White Pepper Crab Rice Dumpling – Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant
In another crab-tastic local twist, Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant debuts the White Pepper Crab Rice Dumpling ($18 nett). Chunks of sweet crab meat is balanced with wholesome black eye peas and enhanced with a fiesty white pepper sauce. Or be wowed by the 10-Head Abalone, Whole Chicken, Conpoy and Shiitake Mushroom Rice Dumpling ($258 nett). The mega luxe dumpling serves a family of 10 – and each person gets a whole abalone!
Available from now to 7 June at Wan Hao, Level 3, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel. Enjoy a 10% discount when purchasing a gold box of four regular rice dumplings. To order, call 6831 4605, email [email protected] or shop online
7. Rice Dumpling with Pork Bone Cartilage and Organic Black Garlic – Hua Ting Restaurant
Ideal for the health-conscious is this collagen-rich Rice Dumpling with Pork Bone Cartilage and Organic Black Garlic ($18.80++). Or indulge in Hua Ting Restaurant’s signature Hong Kong Style Rice Dumpling with Abalone, Roasted Meat, Dried Scallops and Beans ($32.80). Love the king of fruits? The Rice Dumpling with Mao Shan Wang Durian and Sago ($16.80) is a sweet treat for durian and dessert lovers.
Available from now till 7 June at Hua Ting, Level 2, Orchard Hotel Singapore. Get one of each in the Assorted Dumplings Set to enjoy a 10% discount. To order, call 6739 6666 or email [email protected]
8. Classic Pork Belly and Salted Fish Dumpling – Hai Tien Lo
The new Classic Pork Belly and Salted Fish Dumpling ($18.80) from Hai Tien Lo is inspired by the traditional Cantonese dish, Steamed Pork Belly with Salted Fish. Similarly, the well-loved Cantonese dessert Red Bean Soup with Sago translates into the Crystal Dumpling with Red Bean and Sago ($8.80). They are also available as part of the Classic or Premium Rice Dumpling Gift Sets. These come with either Hai Tien Lo’s Signature Homemade XO Chilli Sauce or Fragrant Spicy Dried Shrimps Sauce.
9. Steamed Dried Oyster Rice Dumpling – Summer Palace
Summer Palace’s dim sum chef Leong Kwok Sing reprises four bestsellers, starting with the Steamed Dried Oyster Rice Dumpling ($28). Inspired by auspicious Chinese New Year dish, Ho See Fatt Choy, it features dried oysters, sea moss and Kurobuta pork. The other three comprise Steamed Abalone Rice Dumpling ($38), Steamed Eight Treasures Brown Rice Dumpling ($22) and Steamed Red Bean Paste Rice Dumpling ($13).
10. Fragrant Glutinous Rice Dumpling – Summer Pavilion
Summer Pavilion’s chefs continue to eschew new-fangled creations in favour of focusing on their signature rice dumpling. The Fragrant Glutinous Rice Dumpling ($22) is filled with premium ingredients including roast duck, roast pork, dried scallop, salted egg yolk, mushroom and lotus seed. This is a favourite with the older generation and a Cantonese classic not to be missed.
11. King of Dumplings Festival Package – RWS Celebrity Chefs Restaurants
Resorts World Sentosa presents a delicious collab courtesy of its five celebrity chef restaurants for the Bak Chang 2019 season. Feng Shui Inn brings the Hong Kong Fisherman Abalone and Chicken Rice Dumpling, while Forest features the Peranakan-inspired Braised Pork Belly Chestnut Dumpling (above). Next up, Osia Steak and Seafood Grill’s Lemongrass-scented Iberico Pork Mushroom Rice Dumpling, and Syun’s popular Unagi Rice Dumpling. Tangerine rounds off the five-in-one dumpling feast with a creative interpretation of traditional Thai street dessert, Kao Niew Ping.
(See also: Resorts World Sentosa’s Dumpling Feast Returns)
12. Roasted Goose Dumpling with Golden Chestnut and Foie Gras – Shang Palace
Handcrafted by Shang Palace’s Chef Mok Kit Keung, the Roasted Goose Dumpling with Golden Chestnut and Foie Gras ($22.80 nett) also contains pork belly, green beans, black mushrooms and peanuts. Inspired by his travels to Paris, lavish foie gras and sweet chestnuts add buttery nuances to the savoury dumpling. Also new is the Eight Treasures Dumpling with Mixed Grains ($20.80 nett) that uniquely presents cordyceps flowers, red dates, wolfberries and organic quinoa in a bamboo tube.
13. Kurobuta with Black Truffle and Quinoa Rice Dumpling – Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant
It starts as a savoury parcel packed with slow-braised Kurobuta pork belly, salted egg yolk, chestnut and conpoy. But Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant ups the decadence by adding luxe black truffle and wholesome quinoa. The new Kurobuta with Black Truffle and Quinoa Rice Dumpling is available in two sizes (regular 600g for $48; small 350g for $28, with a minimum purchase of 2). The signature Traditional Rice Dumpling ($42) and premium Abalone and Pumpkin Rice Dumpling ($48) are also available.
14. Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Abalone and Golden Dried Scallops – Yan Ting
Celebrate the festival with Yan Ting’s exceptional Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Abalone and Golden Dried Scallops ($38). The indulgent delight is filled with an array of premium ingredients including fragrant roasted duck meat and pork belly. Also back by popular demand are the Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Pork Belly and Salted Egg Yolk ($22), and Vegetarian Black Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Mixed Grains and Black Truffle ($18). Or get one of each in the Glutinous Rice Dumpling Gift Set ($78).
Dragon Boat Festival and Bak Chang 2019 Events
DBS Marina Regatta 2019
It’s a race against time in more ways than one at the DBS Marina Regatta 2019. First, cheer on over 90 dragon boat teams as they paddle across Marina Bay. Then join them in the water and experience sailing, dragon boating, kayaking and paddle boating as a family!
The race continues on dry land as you learn about how to do your part for a more sustainable future. Take on Singapore’s biggest eco-maze, take part in interactive workshops and play larger-than-life arcade games. There are gift packs to be won, live music from local musicians, and yummy hawker fare at The Grubhouse too!
When 31 May to 2 June, 3pm-10pm (dragon boat races start at 9am on the weekend)
Where The Promontory @ Marina Bay
Children’s Season x Wan Qing Dumpling Festival 2019
It’s going to be an exciting weekend of rice dumpling-making sessions, craft workshops, dramatised storytelling sessions and evening music performances. Take the kids down to Wan Qing Dumpling Festival 2019 for a great bonding experience. There will even be a treasure hunt within the museum galleries, Rice Art Sensory Play, and more.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about the history and cultural significance of the festival. And instead of just another photo op, get your family portrait sketched on the spot by a live caricaturist! This year’s Wan Qing Dumpling Festival is held in conjunction with Children’s Season 2019.
When 1 & 2 June, 10.30am-9pm
Where Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, 12 Tai Gin Road