Eastern Rice Dumpling is a third-generation business whose recipe has been passed down over three decades. Eastern Rice Dumpling hopes to continuously improve and innovate to create dumplings that are well appreciated by consumers. This means improving the processes so that more consistency and quality can be achieved for the dumplings, as well as innovation in terms of inventing new products. Eastern Rice Dumpling’s main outlet is a shophouse at Balestier; their rice dumplings are also offered by select grocery stores (select Cold Storage outlets). Today, Eastern Rice Dumpling produces a diverse range of rice dumplings to offer a variety of tastes to customers so that they can have a new experience every time they visit.
I was never a fan of rice dumplings because I had always thought that rice dumplings were too greasy, the smell of spices too overwhelming and I never liked glutinuous rice stuff. It could have been related to when I was young and ate rice dumplings that contained half-cooked rice grains, thus tainting my experience for a long time.
It became a different story when a branch of Eastern Dumpling opened up at Balestier some years back. As it was near my place, my mom could not help but buy some for us to eat. Among them all, I fell in love with the black pepper chicken rice dumpling.
The glutinous rice is soft, as is the lean, tender chicken meat within. Having eaten their black pepper chicken dumpling for years - so far I have never came across a single piece of fats or skin amongst them - and this is something that I really appreciate.
On top of that, the spiciness of the black pepper makes the rice dumpling a very palatable item, and amongst them lingers a faint hint of other spices too, like cinnamon. Also, the mushroom adds another overture of aroma to the flavorful dumpling. Hence, even when prices kept going up - from $2.50 to $2.70 to $3.30 now, I am still a staunch supporter!
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It's impossible to say no to their dumplings when you walk past the store and get a whiff of the lotus and pandan leaves. I haven't had the opportunity to try all the dumplings yet, but so far I really like the nonya dumplings. The ratio of the fillings to the rice is done just right! The steamed buns are not bad too! But I'm not sure if their steam buns are homemade.