Ba Zhangs that think out of the bamboo-wrapped packages

More often than not, rice dumplings follow a simple concept—glutinous rice stuffed with various fillings such as bean paste, chestnuts, chicken and mushroom, then wrapped in bamboo leaves and steamed. In recent years, however, establishments have adopted non-traditional creative recipes. Here are some of the most creative ones you can get this year.
 

Hua Ting


Hua Ting Restaurant at Millenium Hotels goes full-out unorthodox, yet inarguably local with the Mao Shan Wang and Sago rice dumpling. Tagged at $16.80 a dumpling, creamy durian chunks accentuate the traditionally savoury piece while biting into sago bits gives a nice, refreshing burst of chewiness.
 

Peach Blossom


Sweet-toothed Insta-devotees rejoice! Marina Mandarin’s Peach Blossom restaurant offers something sweet to bite and snap for your feed from now till Jun 7, with its blue-hued pea flower rice dumpling stuffed with Japanese purple sweet potato and egg custard. At $12.80 a piece, who says rice dumplings have to look boring?
 

Summer Palace


Regent Hotel takes the premium route with the oysters, seamoss and kurobuta filling; each ingredient symbolising prosperity and fortune through Chinese characters. Summer Palace’s resident Dim Sum chef Leong Kwok Sing brings back four cult favourite flavours that are worth a try, but our money’s on the Steamed Dried Oyster Dumpling, yours for just $28.
 

Syun


Contemporary Japanese restaurant Syun puts a spin on the traditional Ba Zhang by incorporating a slab of unagi in the glutinous rice parcel. Grilled unagi and shiitake are embedded in the rice; hiding a surprise within the delicacy. This comes in a set of five dumplings, among other tantalising flavours such as Abalone and Chicken, Iberian Chorizo and Spiced Lemongrass Soy Dumplings for $108 a set.
 

Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant


Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant serves up a gargantuan rice dumpling this year; packed with a whole chicken, whole abalone, dried scallops and shiitake. And to add that nice spicy kick, a white pepper sauce is used too. Available from now till Jun 7 for $18.