Cover Photo: The Zong Zi Bar

Celebrate Dragon Boat Festival this year with these unique rice dumplings

Also known as bak chang or zong zi, rice dumplings see glutinous rice and assorted fillings wrapped in bamboo leaves, and are traditionally enjoyed during the Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month (June 14, 2021). We’ve rounded up ten spots selling rice dumplings, from Kampung Dining’s Melaka Nyonya Chang to The Zong Zi Bar’s millet and quinoa version. 

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The Zong Zi Bar

Mother-daughter duo Esther and Cleo Loong founded The Zong Zi Bar to celebrate their Chinese heritage. The two strive to continue the rice dumpling tradition, which has stayed in their family for many generations. The four different varieties of zong zi they make are based upon recipes from both their maternal and paternal grandmothers. While The Zong Zi Bar's menu lists three traditional glutinous rice dumplings, creatively titled The Signature, The Nyonya and The Akaline One, the duo also make a healthier rendition of their signature Hokkien-style zong, in which 50 per cent of glutinous rice is replaced with millet and quinoa.

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Oh Bak Zhang

Oh Bak Zhang was founded by interior designer Nson Yap and his mother just this year, although his mother has been making rice dumplings for the past two decades. Previously, the pair only shared their homemade rice dumplings with friends and family, but due to positive feedback, they have decided to widen their customer base. Made to order, the dumplings contain pork meat, shiitake mushrooms and dried shrimp chilli, but customers have the option to add black eyes beans and salted egg yolks for an additional charge. 

To Order

Send them a direct message on Instagram.

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Kampung Contemporary Dining

Made from succulent minced pork stir-fried with savoury rempah spices and chunks of wintermelon, Kampung Contemporary Dining’s Melaka Nyonya Chang is not one to miss. Wrapped in bamboo and pandan leaves, glutinous rice gets its blue hue from organic blue pea flowers. Because the glutinous rice dumplings can last for up to three months in the freezer, Kampung Contemporary Dining recommends stocking up on them during MCO.

To Order

WhatsApp +6012-737 2085

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BLOKS Private Kitchen

Fuelled by the belief that nothing beats a wholesome home-cooked meal, childhood best friends Aprel Lim and Yoke Ling founded BLOKS Private Kitchen in January 2020 last year. Two types of rice dumplings are available: the Nyonya Chang and the Sambal Hae Bee Chang. The recipe for the Nyonya Chang comes from Lim's Hainanese mother-in-law, who is from Melaka, while the Sambal Hae Bee Chang is the perfect combination of savoury and spicy. Despite costing just RM8 per rice dumping, each takes 10 to 12 hours to make and wrap.

To Order

WhatsApp +6012-901 6205

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Shanghai Restaurant

Shanghai Restaurant is offering two renditions of their classic rice dumplings: the Spanish Pork and Salted Egg Yolk and the Sweet Osmanthus and Five-Bean Glutinous Rice Dumpling, the latter of which is served with an osmanthus-flavoured syrup. From June 8-15, the dumplings will be available for takeaway and home delivery.

TO ORDER 

WhatsApp or call +6018-591 8537 

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Li Yen

This year, Li Yen has both sweet and savoury rice dumplings available. Made with dried scallops, dried shrimps and salted egg yolk, the Duck & Chestnut Glutinous Rice Dumplings are the savoury option, whereas rice dumplings filled with red bean or lotus paste and served with honey will curb your sweet cravings. The rice dumplings are available from June 8-15.

TO ORDER 

WhatsApp or call +6018-646 8033

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Jade Pavilion

The Steamed Supreme Sea Treasures and Abalone and the Heritage Traditional Nyonya Rice Dumpling are just two of the dumplings available for purchase at Cantonese restaurant Jade Pavilion this year. Available until June 20, the dumplings can be delivered or picked-up from noon onwards. For purchases of more than five rice dumplings, the restaurant recommends pre-ordering a day in advance. 

TO ORDER

WhatsApp or call +6017-206 8805

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Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Sample the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur's range of unique glutinous rice dumplings created by executive Chinese chef Michael Wong. The steamed Supreme Sea Treasures & Abalone; Hong Kong Roasted Duck; and Mushroom & Lamb dumplings are just three of the five kinds on offer until June 14.

To Order

Visit their website

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Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Premium ingredients such as truffle honey, foie gras and abalone fill Shangri-La Hotel's assorted rice dumplings, of which there are six. The dumplings can be purchased individually, or are available as part of the Heritage of Asia Gift Box priced at RM198. Alternatively, there are two other gift sets: the Shang Palace Signature, which comes with a handcrafted dumpling by executive Chinese chef John Chu, or the Master Chef Series, containing a Buddha Jumps Over The Wall quinoa rice dumpling.

To Order

Visit their website

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Qra

Kill two birds with one stone by picking up groceries and rice dumplings from Qra. The supermarket is currently carrying five varieties of rice dumplings from their supplier, Sin Katong, until June 14. There are vegetarian and non-vegetarian options ranging from red bean to salted egg.

To Order

Visit Qra supermarket or order directly from Sin Katong's website