For those who don’t know, Dragon Boat Festival, or Tuen Ng, might just feel like another public holiday, but there is a fascinating history behind it. As per the legend, Qu Yuan, known for his poetry and his love for his country, drowned himself in protest of the corruption during China‘s first feudal dynasties. The villagers raced out in their boats, throwing sticky rice dumplings into the river to keep fish and evil spirits away as they searched for his body for a proper burial.
Thus began the traditions of dragon boat racing and eating rice dumplings on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. To this day, you can enjoy traditional glutinous rice dumplings called zongzi (‘joong’ in Cantonese or ‘bak chang’ in Hokkien dialect) during Dragon Boat Festival. Want to find the best zongzi in town? Read on ahead!
Sheraton Hong Kong Tung Chung — Sweet and savoury zongzi duo
For a sweet and savoury zongzi duo, head to Yue at Sheraton hotel, where chef Jacky Chung has created two versions of the Dragon Boat Festival zongzi. The Chinese restaurant’s traditional Dragon Boat offering may be one of the best Cantonese-style glutinous rice dumplings in Hong Kong, made with the finest ingredients including abalone, mushrooms, lotus seeds, mung beans, and salted egg yolk, as well as conpoy and roasted pork belly. The sweet version is new this year and features 20-year-aged dried tangerine peel and sweetened soft red bean paste, wrapped in perfectly sticky rice.
Price: HK$298 (savoury) and HK$168 (sweet), 20% discount for orders confirming between 13 May 2022 – 2 June 2022
Where: Order online and collect from Sheraton Hong Kong Tung Chung (9 Yi Tung Rd, Tung Chung)
When: Order from now until 2 June 2022
Regal Hotels — Vegetarian glutinous rice dumplings
In addition to their classic collection, Regal Hotels group has introduced an all new vegetarian glutinous rice dumpling. Most savoury Hong Kong-style rice dumplings include egg yolk and meat, so this is a rare find. The new Regal Supreme Vegetarian Rice Dumpling with Porcini and Mixed Beans is a mix of five different beans and the Porcini mushrooms add a kick that boosts the immune system. There is also a vegetarian gift set version which includes their sweet dragon boat dumplings for an after-dinner treat, a perfect present for your Tuen Ng Festival celebrations!
Price: HK$228 (individual vegetarian rice dumpling) or $498 (Deluxe Gift Set D)
Where: Order online or buy in-person from Regal Hongkong Hotel (88 Yee Wo St, Causeway Bay) or Regal Riverside Hotel (34-36 Tai Chung Kiu Rd, Sha Tin)
When: Order and collect from 20 May to 2 June 2022
Kee Wah Bakery — Classic Chinese zongzi
With locations all around Hong Kong, you’ll have no trouble popping into a Kee Wah Bakery and picking up one of their classic zongzi. They have the Chinese ham and salty pork dumpling, the Chinese ham and supreme dried scallop dumpling with two lucky egg yolks, the Premium Betty’s XO sauce dumpling with pork belly, and the silky red bean paste and mandarin peel dumpling. You can also get a gift set, which contains two of each of the latter three glutinous rice dumplings. Order online now to get them delivered by 26 May, after which you’ll have to pick your zongzi up in person.
Price: HK$58 (red bean paste dumpling) to HK$530 (assorted dumpling gift set)
Where: Order online and redeem in-person/get delivered, or purchase at Kee Wah locations
When: Redeem from 1 May to 31 May 2022
The Legacy House — Sweet and savoury zongzi set
Prepared by Executive Chef Li Chi-Wai of Rosewood’s Cantonese restaurant, The Legacy House’s gift basket with two limited edition premium sticky rice dumplings, both sweet and savoury, is the perfect remembrance of the traditions behind the Dragon Boat Festival. His painstaking process has birthed the Steamed Sweet Rice Dumpling with whole chestnut and lotus seed, and the savoury Steamed Rice Dumpling with Abalone, Pork & Mushroom with the auspicious “eight treasures” ingredients (i.e. red dates, mung beans, peanuts, red beans, lotus seeds, etc). Presented in an environmentally-friendly gift basket, be sure to order 3 days in advance to ensure you can reserve yours!
Price: HK$598 per set
Where: Order online and collect at The Legacy House (5/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui)
When: Order from 28 April – 1st June, collection between 27 May – 4 June
The Royal Garden — Black truffle zongzi
The Royal Garden, a mainstay five-star hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, has their own take on the zongzi delicacies for the coming festival period. Specifically, the Supreme Black Truffle and Parma Ham Glutinous Rice Dumpling is a unique take on the traditional treat, infusing Western flavours and updating the palate. This zongzi may be especially nice as a novel gift or for pleasing the younger ones looking for non-traditional flavours. If you are looking to order more than five, be sure to order three days in advance.
Price: HK$228 after discount
Where: Buy the voucher on Klook and collect at The Royal Garden (69 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui East)
When: Redemption between 20 – 30 May
Sun Tung Lok — Sticky rice dumpling gift set
The two-Michelin-starred restaurant at Mira Place, Sun Tung Lok, is bringing forth their own creations of Chinese rice dumplings for this festival season. We have picked their incredible gift set, which contains the 800g zongzi and other goodies, for you to share with family and friends. The glutinous rice is wrapped around delicacies such as South African abalone, conpoy, pork, and salted egg yolk. The gift hamper also has a mini red bean rice dumpling and Mini XO Sauce to make your Dragon Boat festival extra special.
Price: HK$308 per set
Where: Order online and collect at Sun Tung Lok (Shop 401, Mira Place One, 132 Nathan Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui)
When: Collection between 13 May – 2 Jun
Hang Heung — Traditional sweet zongzi
This local cake shop is renowned in Hong Kong, with its original home still standing tall in the 20th century building in Yuen Long. Hang Heung now has several branches across Tsuen Wan, Sha Tin, Mong Kok, and Tsing Yi, Causeway Bay, and more. Their handmade Chinese sticky rice dumpling with red bean and aged tangerine peel is a must try, an affordable yet still delicious take on the sweet zongzi. Be sure to order yours soon, or pick up in person before they run out!
Hoi King Heen — Jiaxing-style glutinous rice dumpling
As one of the leading restaurants in Hong Kong for Cantonese cuisine, you know you can’t go wrong with Hoi King Heen for your Dragon Boat Festival zongzi. Our favourite, the Jiaxing Style Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Pork and Premium Soy Sauce is one of the three dainty Chinese rice dumplings Hoi King Heen is offering which are crafted with the finest ingredients. With traditional ingredients done to perfection, the glutinous rice houses marinated pork belly, Chinese ham, and salted egg yolk all soaked in a refined soy sauce.
Where: Buy the voucher on Klook and redeem at Hoi King Heen (B2, InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong, 70 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui)
When: Redemption between 25 May – 3 June
Kwan Cheuk Heen — Sweet and savoury zongzi gift set
If you are looking for a taste of everything this Tuen Ng Festival, you should try the Combo 2 with a curated mix of dragon boat dumplings from Kwan Cheuk Heen. The set contains one piece of Superior Rice Dumpling with Australian 5-head Abalone, Porcini, and Berkshire Pork; two pieces of Superior Rice Dumpling with 30-year-aged tangerine peel, chestnut, and salted egg yolk; and a Sweet Rice Dumpling with red date paste and wolfberry. What more could one ask for? A perfect delight to share at a group gathering.
Price: HK$652 (discounted until 26 May)
Where: Buy the voucher on Klook and redeem at Harbour Grand Hong Kong (23 Oil St, North Point)
When: Available now until 3 June
Island Shangri-La — Iberico ham zongzi set
If you are looking for something new and inventive this Dragon Boat Festival, you have to try the ‘East meets West’ creation of Executive Chinese Chef Leung Yu King of Summer Palace, the one-Michelin-star Cantonese restaurant at Island Shangri-La. Chef Leung’s Michelin-starred sticky rice dumpling is taking the traditional Cantonese-style zongzi to new heights by combining ingredients such as abalone and fish maw with 88-month Joselito Iberico ham. Also in the gift set comes abalone sauce and Summer Palace X.O Sauce – a true delight.
Where: Order online and redeem at Island Shangri-La (Supreme Ct Rd, Admiralty)
When: Available for pick up from 18 May – 2 June
Man Ho Chinese Restaurant — Red bean & dried abalone duo
JW Marriott’s ‘elevated Cantonese restaurant’, Man Ho, is revealing its first ever Dragon Boat Festival zongzi this year. There are two different flavours in their gift sets: the South African dried abalone rice dumpling seasoned with smooth Yuan’s soy sauce, with Japanese shiitake mushroom, pork belly, Hunanese lotus seeds, green beans, and salted egg yolk; and the sweet Japanese red bean rice dumpling paired with smoky pork belly and salted egg yolk. You can order the gift sets in a protective thermal bag or in an elegant gift box for your Tuen Ng Festival houes visits.
Price: HK$388 – HK$488. Order before 3 June for early bird discount of HK$349.20 to HK$439.20
Where: Order online and redeem at Man Ho (Level 3, JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, Admiralty)
When: Order and pick up from now until 3 June
Header image credits: dashu83 via Canva