Glutinous rice dumplings are an inseparable part of the annual Dragon Boat Festival. Wrapped within its folds is a time-honoured belief that commemorates a patriotic poet who tried to save his kingdom. These parcels of rice are a traditional staple eaten on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar — June 25 this year —and are usually enjoyed with the family.
While classic dumplings never go wrong, creative variations are also worth trying out. But if making them yourself is a too much of a culinary struggle, our list will point you to the restaurants that offer glutinous rice dumplings that suit your fancy.
Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Shang Palace’s Hong Kong Glutinous Rice Dumpling is loaded with premium ingredients, including abalone, scallops and assorted nuts — paired with a flavourful spicy sauce. But if you prefer something more toned down, opt for the classic salted chicken, egg and preserved vegetables dumpling or a sweeter variation with red bean paste and walnuts. For those looking to buy in bulk to gift family and friends, discounts of up to 25% are available.
11, Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL. Hong Kong dumpling, RM78; Salted chicken dumpling, RM32; Red bean dumpling, RM16. Call 03 2074 3900 or email [email protected] to book a table. For delivery and takeaway, order here.
InterContinental Kuala Lumpur
Tao Chinese Cuisine’s master dim sum chef Lo Tian Sion’s inventive approach to handcrafted fare, including glutinous rice dumplings, stem from the desire to create unconventional options, often for health-conscious guests. His latest parcel of goodness encases abalone, smoked duck, dried shrimp, morel mushrooms and chestnuts in a brown and glutinous rice mix. Nyonya glutinous rice dumplings are also available, with minced chicken, dried shrimp and mushroom. The dumplings are made fresh daily and can be ordered in sets of three.
165, Jalan Ampang, KL. Brown rice dumpling, RM45, three for RM108; Nyonya dumpling, RM18, three for RM40. For reservations and takeaway, call 03 2782 6000. For delivery, order here. Advanced order is required for takeaway.
Ruyi & Lyn
Surprise your family with Ruyi & Lyn’s gigantic Premium Japanese Dried Scallop Dumpling. Weighing at approximately one kilogram, the hefty parcel serves three to four people. Fragrant glutinous rice envelops Japanese dried scallops, lotus seeds, meat, chestnuts, salted egg yolk, dried oyster, mung bean and lingzhi and shiitake mushrooms. The dumpling comes with with three condiments, including a Teow Chew spicy sauce for those who favour a hot kick. Best of all, takeaway and delivery orders get a 10% discount until June 25.
4th Floor Annexe, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Jalan Maarof, Bangsar. RM48++. Call 03 2083 0288 for delivery and takeaway.
Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur
Lai Po Heen’s glutinous rice dumpling menu features an impressive selection of modern and traditional recipes. The black pepper wagyu beef check dumpling is a must-try besides the mushroom unagi dumpling with chestnut and XO sauce. For a gourmet treat, go for the Supreme Sea Treasures dumpling, which is filled with abalone, dried scallop, dried shrimp, chestnut, lotus seed, mushroom, salted egg yolk, green bean and chicken. A vegetarian option is also available.
Kuala Lumpur City Centre, KL. Black pepper wagyu dumpling, RM88; Mushroom unagi dumpling, RM68; Supreme Sea Treasures, RM98; Vegetarian dumpling, RM38. Call 03 2330 8798 or email [email protected] to reserve.
Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar
Mr Chew’s is the kind of restaurant that warrants more than just a single visit — with creative dishes being rolled out almost every other month, you’ll likely work up a sizeable appetite. True to its creative vein, the restaurant is introducing three rice dumpling flavours for the Dragon Boat Festival namely Chermoula Chicken in coconut and blue pea flower glutinous rice served with coconut kerabu and watermelon pickle; Catfish Charsiew with a side of green papaya somtam and white fungus passion fruit pickle; and the most hearty of the lot, Chilli beef brisket with three grain dumplings coupled with black bean avocado salsa and pumpkin chestnut pickle.
The Penthouse, WOLO, Bukit Bintang, KL. RM28+ per piece; RM100+ for a set of four. Call 03 4065 0168 to order.
Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur
If an outstanding roasted pork belly dish marks one of the highest peaks of Cantonese cuisine, wait until you have it in a rice dumpling. There’s nothing dainty about Concorde Hotel’s version, which packs a punch with ingredients such as dried oyster, salted egg, green beans, mushrooms and the requisite salted egg.
2 Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL. RM32 each (600g). Order via 012 399 5007/016 906 3220.
The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur
Duck meat runs the risk of being gamy but the chefs at Li Yen have deftly mastered the bird. In these Cantonese-style dumplings, you’ll find slivers of plump meat cradled in glutinous rice flavoured with dried scallops, salted egg yolk and chestnuts. For those with a sweet tooth, relish in alternatives such as the lotus paste or red bean paste glutinous rice dumplings.
168 Jalan Imbi, Bukit Bintang, KL. Savoury dumpling, RM50; sweet dumplings, RM15. Call or WhatsApp 018 646 8033 for delivery or takeaway.
JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur
In this Shanghainese twist to the classic rice dumpling, the rare Spanish pork sits at the centrestage instead of a fat pork belly. This parcel of indulgence is also elevated with a melange of ingredients including salted egg yolk, chestnuts and mushrooms. If you’re tired of everything porky at this point, cleanse the palate with a sweet Osmanthus and five-bean glutinous rice dumpling, made from a variety of beans, sweet bean paste, and served with an Osmanthus-flavoured syrup.
183, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. Call or WhatsApp 018 591 8537 for delivery and takeaway. Pork with duck dumpling, RM50; Osmanthus and five-bean glutinous rice dumplings, RM30 each.