Dragon Boat Festival 2021: The Best Rice Dumplings In Hong Kong
Feasting on rice dumplings (aka zongzi in Mandarin), is one of Hong Kong’s most beloved culinary traditions. Made of glutinous rice and stuffed with a variety of savoury and sweet fillings, these dumplings are often wrapped with care in fragrant bamboo leaves, which are eaten on Dragon Boat Festival to honour Qu Yuan—a prominent poet and minister during the Warring States Period who drowned himself in the Mi Lo River to protest against corrupt rulers.
Legend has it that after Qu Yuan’s death, his followers paddled out on boats, beating drums to repel evil spirits and threw rice dumplings into the river to prevent the fish from eating his body—that’s how the festival links up with boat races and dumplings, becoming an important part of traditional Chinese culture.
This year’s festival falls on June 14, and you have around two weeks to hunt for some delicious dumplings and share them with families and friends. To make the process easier, we’ve shortlisted the best rice dumplings available in town that’ll ensure a memorable celebration for Dragon Boat Festival 2021.
Rosewood Hong Kong
There’s always an element of excitement when Rosewood’s Legacy House launches its festive offerings—whether it’s mooncakes or Christmas hampers—and its rice dumplings are no exception. This year, the restaurant is marking Dragon Boat Festival with two creations: a dumpling featuring a six-headed South African abalone, slow-cooked pork belly and assorted mushrooms; and a sweet dumpling with golden chestnuts—both varieties are meticulously prepared with quality ingredients and recipes to satisfy even the most discerning palate.
The two dumplings are offered in a set that priced at HK$558 each. Collection and delivery are available until June 14. Place your order here
Michelin-starred Shang Place at Kowloon Shangri-La has launched an enticing range of rice dumplings to delight food lovers this Dragon Boat Festival. Executive chef Cheung Long-yin impresses with a meticulous combination of authentic recipes and premium ingredients, and diners can expect top-notch creations including the lavish 26-headed Yoshihama abalone and Yunnan ham dumpling (HK$1,988); a vegetarian option of five grains dumpling with morel mushrooms, imperial fungus and assorted mushrooms (HK$198); as well as the traditional variety, dumpling with abalone, dried scallop, pork and salted egg yolk (HK$318). On the sweet side, there are dumplings featuring lotus seed paste (HK$88) and 30-year tangerine peel and sweetened red bean paste (HK$108).
Their new Taste of Asia Gift Box (HK$628) is great for sharing with families and friends as it features six different varieties of rice dumplings ranging from savoury to sweet flavours.
Orders and collection are available till June 11. Place your orders here
Shang Palace, Lower Level I, Kowloon Shangri-La, 64 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong; +852 2733 8754; shangri-la.com
Regal Hotels is pulling out all the stop for Dragon Boat Festival with a tempting lineup of rice dumplings that’ll make any food lover happy this season. In addition to savoury options enriched with decadent ingredients such as whole abalone, conpoy, Chinese ham, salted egg yolk and fish maw, sweet creations that feature red bean and taro paste, lotus seed paste are also offered. If you’re looking to gift, their box sets will really make an impression.
Orders and collection are available till June 13. Place your order here
Tsui Hang Village x Pinewood Wine
Known for its consistently well-executed Cantonese fare, Tsui Hang Village has partnered with Pinewood Wine to create special edition dumplings that are perfect for those who want to enjoy some unique twists on traditional flavours this year.
Their East-Meets-West gift set (HK$388) includes two decadent, modestly-sized creations: an eight-treasure conpoy rice dumpling stuffed with premium ingredients such as mushroom, salted egg yolks and pork belly; plus another savoury variety that features Parma ham, pepperoni and cheese. It also comes with a bottle of white wine, Grand Reyne Blanc, AOC Bordeaux, 2020, that boasts fruity flavours to balance out the richness and elevate your dumpling experience.
Also worth trying is the quartet set (HK$498), which includes the two mentioned dumplings, a savoury creation with Chinese ham, Parma ham and peanuts, a sweet golden kumquat rice dumpling, and of course, a bottle of wine to complement your feast with family and friends.
Orders and collection are available until June 12. Place your order here
Tsui Hang Village, Shop 507, L5, FoodLoft, Mira Place One, 132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2376 2882; tsuihangvillage.hk
Tsui Hang Village, 22/F, Lee Theatre Plaza, 99 Percival Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2409 4822; tsuihangvillage.hk
Tsui Hang Village, 2/F, New World Tower, 18 Queen's Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2524 2012; tsuihangvillage.hk
Four Seasons Hong Kong
Three-Michelin starred Cantonese restaurant Lung King Heen’s rice dumplings have always been one of the city’s most popular creations—and it’s not hard to figure out why. From its steadfast dedication to elevating classic flavours, to the use of premium ingredients, the restaurant’s dumplings are an absolute delight.
This year, they’re launching a gift set ($468) which features an organic grain rice dumpling with abalone and conpoy, and a pack of Iron Goddess Tea to complement the chewy texture and rich flavours of the dumpling. Competition for Lung King Heen’s dumplings is fierce, with supply running out fast each year—act quick!
Orders and collection are available till June 13. Place your order here
Lung King Heen, /F, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3196 8880; fourseasons.com/hongkong/dining
Xia Fei Society
Acclaimed Shanghainese bistro Xia Fei Society debuts three scrumptious rice dumplings to celebrate the upcoming festival. The new dumpling with egg yolk and pork (HK$50), is made with quality meat marinated in a secret fragrant soy sauce; while another savoury variety, dumpling with ham and egg yolks (HK$60), touts cured ham from China’s Jinghua region to give off a strong yet pleasurable flavour—perfect for those with a penchant for savoury treats.
A sweet rice dumpling (HK$38) is also on offer. Stuffed with a rich, creamy red bean paste, it delivers an exquisite taste with comforting sweetness and subtle osmanthus aroma.
Contact Xia Fei Society via Instagram Direct Message or call the restaurant to place orders
Xia Fei Society, 4/F, Century Square, 1-13 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2522 7611; xiafei.com.hk
Whether you’re fully vegetarian or a foodie of any kind, you’ll be delighted to see Green Common’s innovative rice dumplings. Their OmniPork strip rice dumpling with porcini (HK$69) is a modern take on traditional recipes, which features vegan salted egg yolk made from pumpkin and an array of plant-based ingredients and superfoods to offer a healthier alternative without sacrificing delicious flavour.
There’s also another variety crafted with a healthy twist: OmniPork rice dumpling with quinoa (HK$69). Seasoned with five-spice powder and natural seasonings, the dumpling boasts a luscious mix of glutinous rice, mung bean, red quinoa, shiitake mushroom and lotus seed, with chewy texture and tantalising aroma oozing with each bite.
Orders and collection are available till June 11. Place your order here
Green Common, various branches across Hong Kong; greencommon.com
See also: Asia's Most Influential: David Yeung, Founder Of Green Monday And Green Common
Soil To Soul
Looking for more varieties to satisfy your craving for rice dumplings with modern twists? Soil To Soul’s creations are another equally impressive choice that tailored to please your sophisticated palate. Here, executive chef Gu Jin Kwang extends the restaurant’s modern approach of Korean vegetarian cuisine over to traditional dumplings with light recipes and premium ingredients.
The fried kimchi dumpling (HK$98), for example, has a unique fusion of kimchi pickle and perilla seed oil to give rich aromas with spicy and nutty notes. Sesame rice dumpling (HK$98) stuffed with fresh vegetables including mushroom and zucchini in chili sauce and sesame oil is another healthful savory offering that worth a try. If you have a sweet tooth, their yakgwa rice dumpling (HK$98) that features traditional Korean festive sweets, mixed nuts, grain, natural plum extract with a subtle hint of aged soy sauce, is not to be missed.
Orders and collection are available till June 14. Call the restaurant to place orders.
Soil To Soul, 704, 7/F, K11 Musea, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Hong Kong, +852 2389 9588; soiltosoulhk.com
Ming Court is a household name in Hong Kong, beloved for its top-notch, authentic Cantonese food that served in a stylish setting. In honour of Dragon Boat Festival, the Michelin-starred establishment has launched an array of rice dumplings that make for an indulgent celebration.
Aside from the premium dumpling with a whole twelve-head South African abalone, Japanese conpoy, roasted duck meat, Jinhua ham and salted egg yolk, the restaurant is also offering the vegetarian eight-treasure dumpling with a blend of wild mushrooms, such as morel, porcini, and vegetarian roasted “pork” to mimic the traditional taste and texture of meat. Serve with a spoon of the house special homemade XO sauce if you'd prefer to enjoy rich flavours.
Orders and collection are available till June 14. Place your orders here
The most decadent, luxurious one we’ve seen yet. Crafted by Yung’s Bistro, a modern dining concept by reputed goose restaurant Yung Kee, the new dumpling (HK$1480) boasts an authentic recipe from Guangdong, which features a whole South African abalone, Japanese dried scallops, dried shiitake mushroom, salted egg yolks, pork belly, as well as the brand’s signature charcoal-grilled goose. A regular option (HK$258), without the abalone, is also available. Both varieties are free of preservatives and made with refined cooking techniques to impress.
Orders and collection are available till June 11 (orders for the dumpling with abalone should be placed four days in advance to guarantee freshness). Call the restaurant at +852 5599 2800 to place orders.
Yung's Bistro, Shop 701, 7/F, K11 MUSEA, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2321 3800; facebook.com/yungsbistro