cbd lunch spots

Dumpling Darlings puts together Singapore’s chicest dumpling Affair

Dumplings are vogueish now — who’d thought? Two decades ago, the iconic dish was seen more as a tradition that was restricted to gaudy, old-timey Chinese restaurants. Nowadays, Xiao Long Bao is one of the trendiest loves while concepts such as Dumpling Darlings have taken Singapore by storm.

dumpling darlings review

Originally set up in 2018 at Amoy Street, the modern take on familiar Asian flavours and affordable price points —vis-a-viz CBD restaurants, at least— gave it plenty of allure to the younger crowd, especially with its chic neon-flooded interior

But make no mistake, the crux of the public’s endearment with this CBD fast-casual favourite is obvious. Underneath all its glitz and glamour, it’s the fact that Dumpling Darlings serves up solid comfort classics that draws the crowds.

Send Noods

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As logic dictates, dumplings do not make for very adequate standalone mains. Fortunately, the Dumpling Darlings menu is well-rounded and astutely designed with CBD denizens in mind.

Even with dumplings taking the limelight, Dumpling Darlings are almost as equally popular for another style of dishes — a range of delightful mod-Asian noodles.

The menu flaunts a myriad of permutations —each more whimsical than the last— but my internal compass always points me to home, to the Braised Pork Noodles (S$8.50), a modernised cousin of the local Bak Chor Mee.

dumpling darlings

Many aspects, such as the luscious minced meat and heaping of fragrant dried shallots, feel familiar but the soy tare base and Negi nudge it towards Japanese Mazesoba.

Either way, the thick, umami sauce snuggles comfortably around each strand of bouncy noodles and just oozes comfort. While the name hints at the virtuosity of making dough-wrapped parcels, the complete experience demands noodles.

As it happens, Dumpling Darlings’ menu also features addictive Pickled Beansprouts (S$2) — the same kind you’ll find at authentic ramen haunts. Well, it’s not free-flow, but it makes for a hell of a combo with the noods.

Dumplings Daring

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Truth be told, injecting a modern edge into a homely classic like the dumpling and making it your namesake is a rather bodacious move.

Ignoring the slightly elevated price points for the elevated twists though, Dumpling Darlings does as it advertises with a diverse bevvy of foibles drawing inspiration from culinary styles worldwide.

dumpling darlings menu

Unembellished comforts such as the Gyoza-esque Original (S$8) or the Spicy Sichuan (S$8) are charming on their own and well executed but as silky as they are, it felt rather egregious to shell out those amounts for them.

In comparison, my favourite oriental flavours probably appear in the Smoked Duck (S$8), featuring a creamy and intoxicatingly earthy medley of smoked duck, mushrooms, mustard, and Hoisin sauce.

dumpling darlings fried pierogi

The Fried Pierogi (S$8) also throws in a curveball by borrowing from traditional Polish cuisine and delivering a hearty dose of umami, while featuring a fascinating textural interplay between the grainy potato filling and the crunchy shell.

The driving force behind Dumpling Darlings’ evergreen popularity makes itself apparent — reliable execution, decent prices for the CBD, and a sprinkling of moodiness make it a delightful spot for office dwellers to wind down after a gruelling day of slogging.

Make your online reservations here.

Dumpling Darlings

Website | Instagram | Facebook

  • Address: 86 Circular Road
  • Hours: (Mon–Thurs) 11am–2:30pm, 5.30pm–10pm, (Fri–Sat) 11am–2:30pm, 5.30pm–12pm


  • Address: 44 Amoy Street
  • Hours: (Tues–Sun) 11am–2:30pm, 5.30pm–10pm


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