June 13, 2012

Lai Ching Yuen, Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur: An Ode to Dragon Boat Festival with Bak Chang!

Bundles of Authentic Treasures for the Dragon Boat Festival!

Bak Chang, Zong, Zong Zi, Zang, Machang… call it whatever you like! Ultimately, they share the same concept of stuffed rice dumplings with various fillings. Traditionally eaten most during the Dragon Boat Festival from May to June, these bundles of joy were said to be created to commemorate the death of a famous Chinese poet named Qu Yuan. According to legend, the rice dumplings were said to be a decoy for the fishes when the patriotic poet died in the river.  Read more about the said legend here.

The tradition of making rice dumplings are said to be handed down from generations to generations. Based on its origin, the rice dumplings are savored in many various shapes, flavors, textures and fillings. Another thing these rice dumplings share is the many labor of love put into making, wrapping and cooking them!

Recently I was given another lesson in a workshop held in Lai Ching Yuen at Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur on the art of how to wrap these infamous glutinous rice dumplings.

Lai Ching Yuen is, by no means, not new to me as I have visited this grand Shanghai themed restaurant quite a few rounds. Exuding nothing less but the best, Lai Ching Yuen is regally known for its fine Cantonese cuisine with a grand twist. For this Dragon Boat festival, Lai Ching Yuen is set to stir a storm in the heart of the city with Master Dim Sum Chef Thye Yoon Kong’s Glutinous Rice Dumplings.

The workshop kicked off with Chef Kong’s suave and deft skills in giving us a 101 tutorial on how to perform the art of wrapping the traditional glutinous rice dumplings. As much as I like to say that it looked easy from Chef Kong’s demonstration, wrapping the dumplings do take a certain amount of practice as it is not an easy feat! J

Spared no expense, the ingredients for Lai Ching Yuen’s dumplings are sumptuously laid out awaiting the workshop. Luxurious and quality ingredients summed up the recipes. Chef Kong’s recipe has an indulgence of four kinds of meat from various cuts of pork and duck in one of the recipe. In addition, the list of mouthwatering ingredients include salted egg yolk, dried scallops, dried chestnut, mushroom, dehulled mung beans, seasoned glutinous rice and more.

We took turns in creating our own masterpiece after Chef Kong’s demonstration! Needless to say, it was loads of fun and laughter that day. For beginners, we all could not be more proud since all our dumplings got Chef Kong’s approval!

Check out our masterpieces… J

After the workshop, we had a very enjoyable time savoring all four types of glutinous rice dumplings from Chef Kong. From savory to sweet, the sticky rice affair was a delectable treat for tea!

First up the tasting treat was a large Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Dried Scallops and Roasted Duck Meat (RM38++). This is the same one we wrapped in the workshop so we were very pleased as it was loaded with four kinds of pork and duck, all marinated with their own seasoning separately. Various cuts of meat were used to ensure that there is a beautiful balance of lean and fat interweaved in the dumpling. Heavenly scented with Chinese five-spice powder, the rice and mung beans were soft and creamy. Seen earlier, we dug into the dumpling ecstatically to unload the hidden treasures of the meat, salted egg yolk, dried scallops, chestnut and more. The usage of the bamboo leaves coupled with lotus leaves exuded a fragrance of an earthy aroma. I like my dumpling soft and creamy and the version here fitted the bill perfectly!

I was glad I had two whole dumplings uncooked from the workshop to take home! Check out the ones my partner and I wrapped… our yin and yang version!!

Next, we tried Glutinous Rice Dumping with Roasted Pork (RM28++) and found this to be equally delicious. This version had chunks of roasted pork paired with black eye peas. A smaller dumpling than the first but flavors are spot on as the savory flavors of the layers of porky goodness are sinfully glorious on the taste bud.

The piece de resistance was a luxurious Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Abalone and Chinese Mushroom (RM68++) set to whet gourmand appetites! Highly prized with abalone, the rest of the ingredients were quite similar to the one we made earlier. Boiled for more than 6 hours, the abalone was superbly tender, melding gently with other ingredients in the lavish dumpling. Drool worthy!

Our tea and dumplings ended with a Sweet Glutinous Rice Dumpling with White Lotus Paste (RM18++). Made with alkaline water, this dumpling was creamy and lightly sweetened. I like the extra malt and honey sauce on the side to tease the individual’s taste on the sweetness level.

Lai Ching Yuen not only serves authentic rice dumplings but their dim sums and Chinese menu are highly recommended if one needs to impress family, friends or even business associates. Non-halal, the restaurant is located on the first floor and is open daily from 12 noon to 2.30pm for lunch and 6.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner. For reservations, please call +603 2117 4180 or email lcy@grandmillenniumkl.com

Lai Ching Yuen Rice Dumplings are available from 9th June to 23rd June 2012 and are priced from RM18.00++ to RM68.00++ accordingly.

Lai Ching Yuen
Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur
160 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
T: +60 3 2117 4180
F: +60 3 2145 7876


  1. It was a very fun workshop. Have u cooked yours at home already?

  2. I have only tried Zing long time ago. Maybe its time for me to pay a visit to lai ching yuen.

  3. alamak, stuff abalone inside dumplings pula LOL, but i think i'll prefer the traditional ones :x

  4. That was fun. I still have mine in the freezer. Maybe it's time to take it out for dinner tomorrow. :-)

  5. I love Roasted Pork Dumplings, especially the fat part!!! haha....

  6. I think wrapping dumpling in pillow shape is more easier than the triangle one, right?

  7. wahh~~ got such huge dumplings wan ah~~~~~ sluuuurp~ got abalone dumplings summore!! wahh..chef is soooo creative! Wish to try all of them!!

  8. I have not eaten any Bak Zhang yet. And all the above looks so yummy! =_=

  9. I want this.. I think this year nobody bring bak chang to me..

  10. that's lots of types of dumpling there :) im waiting for another week to savour on those!

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