Sheraton Saigon Grand Opera Hotel Gears Up For Dragon Boat Festival With Gourmet Cantonese Sticky Rice Dumplings

To celebrate the time-honored traditions of the Dragon Boat Festival, Sheraton Saigon Grand Opera Hotel proudly debuts our gourmet sticky rice dumpling collection with signature creations by our Cantonese veteran chefs of Li Bai restaurant. This year marks a notable launch in conjuction with the our newly renovated Li Bai’s culinary concept, bringing an ever-innovative packaging design inspired by the local folk stories alongside nostalgic flavors with contemporary enhancements.

Zong Zi, an Honor of the Tradition, a Taste of Reunion 

Holding significant cultural and historical importance in Asian countries, Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated annually on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, especially in China and by originated-Chineses across the globe and in Vietnam. Sticky rice dumplings, also known as zong zi or bak zhang, as well as dragon boat racing are tradition-linked associations with this festival.

Handcrafted from glutinous rice and filled with various ingredients such as meats, beans, salted egg yolk, nuts and then wrapped in bamboo leaves before being cooked, dragon boat dumplings come with many variations in shape, from triangle, square to round. In Vietnam, zong zi can be broadly categorised into Vietnamese style and Chinese style, mainly Southern Chinese-style zongzi among Cantonese regions. While Vietnamese sticky rice dumplings is known as banh u nuoc tro, with a sweeter taste and triangle appearance popular in Northen Vietnam, the Chinsese style in Saigon are filled in pyramid & pillow shape with savoury ingredients, including salted egg yolk, pork, shiitake mushrooms, mung beans, taro and chicken, leaving a rich and decadent filling.

In the past, bundles of dragon boat dumplings were thrown into the river as sacrificial offerings, nowadays, they are enjoyed amongst family, friends and colleagues, as a gift for this mid-year celebration hailing remembrance and unity. With the Dragon Boat Festival falling on June 10 this year, Cho Lon, Vietnam’s largest China town and notable restaurants around Saigon have started the kitchen to prepare the seasonal zongzi.  

Li Bai’s Timeless Flavours Made in Saigon 

Turning into fifth year of our handcrafted zong zi production, Li Bai under Sheraton Saigon Grand Opera Hotel unveils a luxurious collection of four best-selling flavors showcasing exquisite ingredients and masterful artisanal techniques. This year’s fillings include both classic and creative flavours; namely Abalone and dried scallop, Char siew pork and Iberico ham; Chicken and foie gras; Soy tempeh, wild mushroom and truffle. Reflecting Li Bai’s refreshing culinary concept of highlighting timeless favorites and modern flavors committing to meeting the evolving tastes of its discerning diners, the dragon boat dumplings are handcrafted with meticulous attention encapsulating the essence of Cantonese cuisine yet creativity in premium ingredient combination. 

Best known for its dim sum and signature dishes of roast pork belly and sensational clay pot rice, Li Bai offers interesting mix of the classic char siew pork flavors (VND 198,000++/piece) with a luxurious integration of Jamon Iberico bringing an aromatic fusion of East meets West style for such a robust flavor.

Li Bai’s all time favourite flavor (VND 198,000++/piece), the chicken filling makes a bold return with an ultimate creative pairing of the tasty chiken spiced in Li Bai’s pepper sauce with generous chunks of the buttery yet delicate of French delicacies, foie gras, offering a luxury touch with taste of supremacy. 

The best-seller, encasing both abalone with dried scallop (VND 338,000++/piece) exemplifies a culinary treasure brimming with superior ingredients in Chinese cuisine including the abalone, Kurobuta pork, roast duck, conpoy, salted egg yolk, and more.

For those with a penchant for plant-based diet with health concious option, the new vegan dragon boat dumpling (VND 198,000++/piece) features fragrant mushrooms, shiitake and truffle bursting with wholesome goodness and natural sweetness blended with lotus seed and chestnuts.

The meticulous process of making our dragon boat dumpling takes begins with picking the finest ingredients from glutinous rice, chestnuts, shiitake, lotus seed pairing with savory fillings and made-in Li Bai sauces and wraping in bamboo leaves with high skills for the refined shapes before being slow-cooked for eight hours. Chef Diep Nhieu, Sous Chef of Li Bai restaurants shares: “The most popular shape of dragon boat dumpling is pyramid. At Li Bai, we develops the pentagon shape representing the auspicious yet balance ying yang based on the five agents in Chinese philosophy including Fire, Water, Wood, Metal and Earth. Our fillings are none to compare with local-sourced and premium imported ingredients. Most importance, each dumpling pays homage to our Li Bai’s traditional hallmark techniques by artisan chefs for such an authentic taste.”

A Touch of Folks for a Thoughtful Gift Set

Enhancing the festivities with an added touch of sophistication, Li Bai launches a brand-new design with bespoke packaging. Coming with two straps with ease and style, it features comic illustrations of dragon boat races, reminiscent of traditional tapestries and is accented with a green tassel embodying a luxurious folk story to the presentation. This package sets as thoughtful gifts for families and friends. For every purchase of two dragon boat dumplings, the box is complimentary. 

The dragon boat dumplings are recommended and best enjoyed with Li Bai’s staple sauce, XO Sauce, freshly-made in house with a gourmet blend of dried scallops, shallots, garlic, chilli, dried shrimp, shrimp roe and more. Li Bai’s artisanal condiment adds a rich punch to the sweet nod of the occasion that makes you difficult to stop at one bite.

Dragon boat dumplings are available for purchase from 9 May to 10 June 2024 with the tasting booth at the hotel lobby open from 09:00AM to 08:00PM daily. 

To discover more about our Authentic Handcrafted Dragon Boat Dumplings by Li Bai, please visit