Darling Dumplings

Des Moines’ own Dumpling cafe

Recently, a new restaurant has been coming up in conversations between couples, friends and family – Darling Dumplings. On July 31st, Darling Dumplings opened its doors to its second location located in Des Moines, with the first being in Iowa City. According to their website, Darling Dumplings “offer(s) unique, innovative culinary creations that revolve around the dumpling – initially inspired by [their] love for Korean mandu from [their] time living in Seoul and evolving into offering dumplings from various cultures around the globe in addition to coming up with fun fusion items.” 

When we stepped into the rustic industrial building, we were immediately hit with the sweet smells of craft sodas, and lemongrass and ginger from their cocktails. Pipe shelves held onto the exposed brick walls, creating an elegant yet trendy atmosphere, yet the small and string lighted patio created a cozy feeling at the same time. You hear quiet and friendly chatter from customers, laughter from the staff, and the sizzling, coming from the dumping you are about to devour, in the kitchen. 

Darling Dumplings tried to get away from the traditional dumplings and instead focuses on creating new and inviting dishes that will peak your curiosity (and they also have vegan and vegetarian options!) Some of the unique dishes include Mac & Cheese dumplings, Pierogi dumplings, or Avocado Rangoon dumplings. They offer flights of 20 or 40 dumplings, 4 of each of their steam or fried or 4 of both. Each dish comes with unique sauces ranging from traditional soy sauce to a siracha and ranch dip offered with the Mac & Cheese dumplings

If dumplings aren’t really your thing, no worries! Darling Dumpling also has other plates such as Bao’s which are steamed buns filled with meat and sauce; such as the Hoisin Pork served with hoisin ginger sauce on the inside. Each plate comes with two buns, but don’t worry, two is more than enough to get your stomach happy. They also offer Korean inspired dishes, such as a Korean BBQ plate, or a whole meal inspired by Korean leftovers which include: rice, kimchi, carrots, spinach, crispy seaweed, fried egg & gochujang. Darling Dumplings offers assorted fried rice’s, a rotating dumpling dessert, and cute Darlin Dumpling t-shirts with a smiling dumpling on the front. 

FYI, I said the word ‘dumpling’ 19 times in this post (20 with ßthat one). That’s how specialized this restaurant is; and it’s amazing. Darling Dumplings is starting to pave the way how we look at dishes we wouldn’t dare to touch because they are already yummy. But, they are just proving, you can make dishes even more fantastic and unique. 

You can check out how to get to Darling Dumplings here