Peach Blossoms' mini Treasures Crystal dumplings
We’ve consolidated the 2012 season’s bounty, so you know where to go for the tastiest and most innovative rice dumplings this Dragon Boat Festival:
Crystal Jade My Bread
Traditional brown rice dumpling
For those looking for something traditional, this dumpling is a hearty, savoury combination of brown rice, glutinous rice, chestnuts, lotus seeds, peanuts, black eyed peas, pork and salted egg yolk ($5.80). Inspired by local desserts, Crystal Jade has also lined up sweet dumplings like a petite sweet corn cool dumpling made with evaporated milk, and the equally mini black glutinous rice with sago cool dumpling (three for $2.70; six for $5).
Crystal Jade My Bread| Address: #B1-48 Ang Mo Kio Hub, 53 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, and 13 other outlets | Tel: 67533192 | Opening hours: Daily 10am–10pm | Until 23 June
Hua Ting Restaurant
Hong Kong style rice dumpling with roasted meat
Group masterchef Chan Kwok bundles up new dumpling flavours like the rice dumpling with braised pork in five spices, dried shrimp and Li Pu yam ($8.80). All-time favourite and signature, Hong Kong-style rice dumpling with roasted meat ($14.80) returns: it’s packed with freshly roasted duck and meat, scallops, mushrooms, salted egg yolk, fragrant chestnuts and dried lotus seeds.
Hua Ting Restaurant| Address: Orchard Hotel, 442 Orchard Road | Tel: 67396666 | Opening hours: 11.30am–2.30pm, 6.30–10.30pm | Until 23 June
|Shang Palace's red bean with ginseng dumpling|
Jade Fullerton Restaurant
Vegetarian five-crop glutinous rice dumpling
These healthful dumplings ($4.80) are packed with nutritious ingredients like brown rice, black fungus, chestnuts, shiitake mushrooms and Job’s Tears. The traditional five spice salty pork glutinous rice dumpling ($7.80) and signature red vinesse pork pglutinous rice dumpling ($8.80) is also available.
Jade Fullerton Restaurant | Address: Fullerton Hotel, 1 Fullerton Square | Tel: 68778178 | Opening hours: Daily 11.30am–2.30pm, 6.30–10.30pm | Until 23 June
Steamed dumpling with signature XO sauce
Chef Alan Chan whips up his signature XO sauce to go with the slightly spiced homemade dumplings with dried shrimp. Diners can also enjoy other dumplings filled with bird’s nest, red bean paste, snow lotus, conpoy, pork, salted egg yolk, mushrooms, lotus seeds, green beans and chestnuts.
Jiang-Nan Chun| The Four Seasons Hotel, 190 Orchard Boulevard | Tel: 68317220 | Opening hours: Daily 11.30am–2:30pm, 6–10.30pm.| Until 23 June
TRY ALSO: If nothing catches your fancy, make your own
Man Fu Yuan
Glutinous rice dumpling with goose web in abalone sauce
In addition to returning favourites — the traditional pork dumpling ($7.80 per piece) and the Jumbo dumpling ($24.80 per piece) — dim sum chef Simon Poon continues on the traditional and luxurious route with two new creations: a glutinous rice dumpling with goose web in abalone sauce ($12.80 per piece). The rice is lightly tossed in abalone sauce to impart the rich flavour, then wrapped with pork belly, peanuts, mushrooms and gelatinous goose web imported from France.
Man Fu Yuan | Address: Level 2, Intercontinental Hotel, 80 Middle Road | Tel: 68251062 | Opening hours: Daily 11am–2.15pm, 6–10.30pm | Until 23 June
Mini glutinous rice dumpling with D24 durian dip
Thesteamed kee zhang — a mini glutinous rice paired, unconventionally, with a D24 durian dip (three for $4.80) — is bound to push boundaries. For more savoury tastebuds, there is a steamed giant glutinous rice dumpling with conpoy, five-spice pork, salted egg yolk, pork belly, mushrooms ($15.80) and chestnuts and steamed glutinous rice dumpling with waxed meat which is filled with traditional favourites such as Chinese sausage, waxed duck leg, pork liver and salted egg yolk ($4.80) — all new creations.
Min Jiang | Address: Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road | Tel: 67301704 | Opening hours: 11am–2.30pm, 6–10.30pm | Until 23 June
Chilled dessert dumplings
The Mini Treasures Crystal dumplings come in a colourful pack of five ($28.80), each a different flavour and of different textures and consistencies: the black sesame with sweet rice filling (black) is a little grainy, the rice most resembles the traditional glutinous rice dumpling. Our favourites are the refreshing lemongrass with mango (yellow) and the light yuzu with aloe vera (orange).
Peach Blossoms | Address: Marina Mandarin, 6 Raffles Boulevard | Tel: 68451118 | Opening Hours: Daily noon–2.30pm, 6.30–10.30pm | Until 23 June
Peony Jade Restaurant
Fruit-flavoured cold dumplings
We can't stop raving about the Mao Shan Wang durian dumpling. Its cold, delicate texture will melt in your mouth and linger on your taste buds for hours (not a good thing for some, but we relish it). The cooling fruit-flavoured dessert dumpling combination ($18.80) is a quirky quartet of innovative, sweet and refreshing creations with the more popular tropical fruits.
Peony Jade Restaurant | Address: M level, Keppel Club, Bukit Chermin Road | Tel: 62769138 | Opening hours: Mon–Fri 11.30am–2.30pm, 6–10.30pm; Sat & Sun 10.30am–2.30pm, 6–11pm | Until 23 June
|Szechuan Court's super-sized Gong Bao dumpling|
Lucky draw dumplings
Master chef Steven Ng hopes to excites tastebuds with new combinations like the sea perch and fish roe rice dumpling ($18.80), barbecued chicken rice dumpling ($12.80), Eu Yan Sang organic vegetarian rice dumpling ($14.80) and red bean paste with ginseng rice dumpling ($12.80).
Shang Palace | Address: Shangri-La Hotel, 22 Orange Grove Road | Tel: 62134473 | Opening Hours: Mon–Fri 11.30am–2.30pm, 6.30–10.30pm; Sat & Sun 10.30am–3pm, 6.30–10:30pm | Until 23 June
Szechuan Court and Kitchen
Chef Sebastian Goh makes them Cantonese-style, with unusual meats: the Hong Kong-style dumpling ($42) is packed in with ostrich meat, roasted pork belly, roast duck, stewed abalone, chestnuts and dried shrimps. Those who like the unusual cuts should try the braised pork trotter dumpling ($48) that teems with Chinese herbs. Our favourite though, is the Gong Bao chicken dumpling ($38), made with succulent diced marinated chicken thigh meat stir-fried in chilli peppers and Szechuan peppercorns.
Szechuan Court and Kitchen | Address: Level 3, The Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Road | Tel: 64316156 | Opening Hours: Daily noon–2.30pm, 6.30–10.30pm
Sadat Osman is a sports enthusiast who chows food down to his heart’s content when no one’s looking. Feed him anything – the closet-foodie will try any food as long as it smells good. Also an aspiring cop, he hopes to stay clear of the donut-munching stereotype.
Formerly Food & Drink Editor at Time Out Singapore magazine, Celine Asril was a food blogger before ‘Blogger’ became a legitimate full-time career. Having worked in a caterer’s kitchen and assisted a renowned London food photographer, the avid WWOOFer and Twitter-jointed editor/writer has been published on CNNgo, Forbes Travel and in Asian Gourmet and Smile magazine. She is now adding edible codes to inSing.com. Follow her twitter feed at @inSingFood.