As Dragon Boat Festival approaches, we unwrap some of the best sticky rice dumplings to celebrate

In a curious east-meets-west relay of gastronomic celebrations, Dragon Boat Festival, which takes place on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, is right around the corner – just when Le French GourMay 2014 is about to end. Nowadays, this festival is not only a time for dragon boat racing but also one for all restaurants and hotels in town to vie for diners’ attentions with their specialty rice dumplings. Despite their deceivingly similar appearances, beneath the bamboo leaf wrappers surprisingly novel ingredient combinations can often be found, carefully icrafted to add a hint of modernity to this festive delicacy.


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Kowloon Shangri-la

Executive Chef Mok Kit Keung of Shang Palace is marking Tuen Ng Festival with three creations: roast chicken sticky rice dumpling with black garlic and porcini mushroom (HK$178), sweetened red wine sticky rice dumpling with dried fruits wrapped in grape leaf (HK$98) and Japanese sweetened golden chestnut paste sticky rice dumpling with black syrup and kinako powder (HK$88), available until June 2. The roast chicken sticky rice dumpling (based on one of Mok’s signature dishes) includes Swiss black garlic for its milder taste, and pine nuts and chestnuts in place of egg yolk and pork for a healthier rendition.

To order, please call Shang Palace on +852 2733-8401


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Royal Garden

Okinawa black sugar, sweet potato puree and black glutinous rice dumpling (HK$148) is a welcome addition to the traditional sticky rice dumpling line-up from the Tsim Sha Tsui hotel this year, and is an ideal choice for those who have a sweet tooth. Black truffle and Parma ham rice dumpling (HK$188) perfectly pairs the fragrance of the fungus with the saltiness of the meat; while Kagoshima pork and dried Sakura shrimp rice dumpling (HK$188) includes glutinous rice cooked with conpoy broth and mirin, lending it a Japanese twist.

To order, please call Royal Garden Chinese Restaurant on +852 2724-2666 or Fine Foods on +852 2733-2045


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Four Seasons

For more health-conscious patrons, the gift set featuring organic glutinous grain rice dumpling with abalone and conpoy (HK$288) from Lung King Heen is the perfect option. The recipe uses natural organic rice paired with Chao An premium oolong tea to aid digestion. Weighing around 600 grams each, the jumbo dumpling is also excellent for sharing among friends and family. The gift set is available to order and collect until June 2. Two days’ notice should be given prior to the desired collection date.

To order, please call Lung King Heen on +852 3196-8880

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Yan Toh Heen unveils three kinds of rice dumplings this year: a whole abalone glutinous rice dumpling (HK$298), wagyu beef cheek and porcini glutinous rice dumpling (HK$268) and organic apple and black glutinous rice dumpling (HK$138), available until June 1. The beef cheek dumpling features Australian wagyu beef cheek, which is cooked for five to six hours before being embedded into the glutinous rice, aged dried tangerine peels and porcini from Yunnan. The organic apple and black glutinous rice dumpling uses 100 per cent organic ingredients and goes with their homemade ginseng honey sauce for customers to adjust to their preferred sweetness.

See how the perfect rice dumpling from Yan Toh Heen is made in our Epicurean Express video here 

To order, please call Yan Toh Heen on +852 2313-2244

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Fook Lam Moon

While most hotels are promoting their special rice dumplings, the ‘tycoons’ canteen’ has rolled out two varieties of classic flavours, available until June 2. Rice dumpling with lotus seed paste filling (HK$100) uses top-notch lotus seeds, which are buttery but not cloying. Rice dumpling with conpoy, roasted duck, pork belly and salted egg yolk (HK$280) is a deluxe version of traditional recipe, with ingredients packed to the brim, including pork belly (which has even layers of fat and lean meat), chestnuts and green beans. A limited quantity is available for pre-order daily.

To order, please call +852 2866-0663 (Hong Kong Island branch) or +852 2366-0286 (Kowloon branch) 

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