Carnaval Meat & Spanish Tapas Cocktail Bar
Great food, ambience and service, not cheap, but good value for money. A little gem in the heart of Dartford Town Centre.
Used to decades of central London's range and quality of dining experience I moved some years ago to Dartford. Bleak years of mediocre places to eat in a northwest Kent bleak mist ensued. We travelled to so many places with rave reviews, only to encounter dire service and sub standard seafront-level food. Like the Old Fighting Cocks nr Brands Hatch: raved about by fans but in reality a dismal experience with textbook abysmal service. And dozen other such hyped places yielded similar disappointment, like the Horse & Groom in Wilmington. Crayford is crying out for a good restaurant to complement Assos, which is OK if you are happy only ever to eat Mediterranean food.
So our hopes were at sea level when I looked online last weekend to see if anything new had materialised offering promise. And my wife and I were elated by this Tapas restaurant we never knew existed. Delicious food served with authority and passion and cocktails mixed and served to perfection. That is all you need to know.
Great food, nice atmosphere, helpful and kind staff. Highly recommended.
Great little find !! Excellent food & service can’t wait to go back
Good food, excellent value and nice friendly atmosphere. Service was good and staff very attentive, nice gap between courses, didn’t feel rushed. Amazing cocktails, would highly recommend Singapore Sling and Margarita.
Hidden gem in dartford.
Beautiful food and cocktails.
Lovely atmosphere and great food. Staff were very attentive and friendly.
First time to try canaval, it’s bit disappointed, the seafood Paella was really salty and the seafood pasta also really salty, and tell the staff in the restaurant but got nothing responded. Sorry, no more next time
It's been our 4 visit to the carnaval we have had yet another lovely meal, it's a compact restaurant with 2 servers, we think they need at least 1 more to cope with how busy it gets in there at the weekends.
Very enjoyable experience, great food and very attentive service.
Went as two couples. On arrival service was good, was given a choice of tables and they were happy to move us to a "better" table. Drinks order was taken quite quickly and the wine was brought, still waiting for my bottle of water, had to ask again and settled for tap water.
As always the food was great. Really is a gem of a place in Dartford.
Sorry to say that apart from when we arrived the service was not good this time. Had to ask three times for bread and olives. When we asked for a second bottle of white of the three drinking it only two glasses were filled then the bottle was banged on the table!! At the end we were asked if everything was ok and then the cold food was left on our table. Waiter came back again 20 mins later and asked again but didn't ask if we wanted coffee or dessert. We got the bill at this point and left. The table next to us had cold paella sitting on their table for nearly an hour!! They got a free glass for complaining about the service. We didn't get a chance to say the same to the manager.
But, the food is great and we won't let this one occasion put us off going back - was our 4th visit.
Very good food and wine service was very efficient and friendly nice surroundings and we will be returning
I booked a table for 10 for my girlfriends birthday. The food was amazing, the staff were friendly, and the restaurant has a nice atmosphere. We did order a bottle of wine about half way through our meal which never arrived but we weren't charged for it so didn't bother mentioning it to the staff. The staff also didn't seem aware that once our drinks were finished we might want more! They could have made a fortune off of us if they had kept the drinks flowing but no one asked if we wanted a refill, we had to flag down the staff to get anything we needed. Overall though we all had a great night, but I think they may be better suited to smaller parties of maybe 6 or less as opposed to large groups.
First time eating at Carnaval, will definitely be returning.
Second time i have been to this restaurant now, and I love it. Proper authentic Spanish food is a rare find in Kent so this is definitely a hidden gem!
Will be back frequently i suspect
Excellent food, excellent cocktails, excellent value
Tough one - we’re talking about the culinary desert which is Dartford after all. Compared to what else is on offer in the town, it’s a cut above and I would recommend it and will return, but if it were in a town with decent restaurants, it would be down the list. The food was tasty although not outstanding (we shared four tapas) and promptly delivered by an eager -to-please server; the bill was modest and my friend and I enjoyed our lunch.
Larger parties should note they have a big, square table which sits two each side so you can all talk to each other rather than put up with tables for two pushed together in a long line which is what most restaurants do.
Very nice staff, great service and fabulous cocktails. Will definitely be going back
The food was fabulous, paella was excellent. Staff very friendly. Great decor and atmosphere
Enjoyed our evening
Authentic tapas. Really tasty, cocktails lovely too. Dartford gem!
amazing food, atmosphere and service. would highly recomend an evening here.
Very good tasty food. Would recommend. Good service.
Food was nice and service was ok. They could do with more staff I would say it’s a average restaurant
Food was amazing!
Cocktails were great though seemed expensive for dartford.
A few issues explaining to waitress things and paying the bill but manager was great.
Definitely come back! Would be great to have a happy hour!
We had Tapas it was very nice but ordered to many dishes
Let's face it, Dartford is never going to win any prizes for attractiveness, ambience and retail choice. But out of the gloom of dodgy pubs, dodgy architecture and sometimes dodgy residents, comes this little ray of sunshine.
Food was good (not mind-blowing but definitely good), the staff were lovely, the feel of the place was exactly what you want. Nice family, cosy feel.
All dishes are tasty
Had a great evening at Carnavale. Waitress (Iona) was lovely - very friendly and attentive and gave good advice on dishes. Food is excellent - just like home cooked food. We had the seafood and chicken paella, chorizo in Oloroso, garlic prawns and patatas bravas. All really good. Table was booked for 7.15 and we didn't leave til gone 10 but weren't rushed or put under pressure to leave. Will definitely be back.
Great little place, just what the town needs...owner might need to get a waitress......owner is a lovely chap.
Went to Carnaval for a lovely Mother's Day meal. Great food and drink and friendly service. Very impressed.
I booked this restaurant for mothers day, my booking was for 5:30pm, I received a call on Saturday asking if I could come for 6:00pm or 6:30pm instead. I explained I could only come for 6:00pm at the very latest as we have cinema at 7:15pm.
My mother, Brother and I were seated at 5:55pm, knowing we were under time constraints we ordered starters within 5 minutes of being seated, and had eaten our starters and ordered mains by 6:15pm. Then between 6:15pm-6:50pm we waited and waited..... the person I believe to be the Manager came up to us twice to reassure us food was coming soon (without us saying anything, clearly acknowledge we had been waiting far too long) at 6:55pm I finally asked where our food is and explained we have cinema at 7:15pm, he got defensive but knew we had been waiting to long, under pressure he goes to hot plate to hurry them up, and brings out pasta marina, we ordered x2 Lamb chop meals and x1 Tagliatelle. I say we did not order that, the manager just turns around and says it will take too long to now cook the meal asked for, so we decided enough was enough and asked for the bill. The Manager was ready to print the bill without offering any discount after the poor service received, until I said "you know we deserve some sort of discount, but if your going to be defensive even though you know the service was poor, I will pay" only then did he say go for free.
I am not going to slander the restaurant as a whole, our tapas was nice, the environment was nice, but I was shocked for such a small restaurant literally 11 or 12 tables maybe, they were not able operationally cope on Mother's day. Also both the Manager and the Waitress knew the service we received was poor but came across very defensive, despite full well knowing we had been wronged, especially since we would have had more time, if they did not ask for us to come 30mins later than booked!!!
Food was terrible, seemed like all frozen food.
Service was terrible, only people in there and wasn’t offered new drinks when finished and was clearing the table ourselves.
Cocktails seemed weak and didn’t taste nice and the wine seemed like water.
Overall terrible night and would not go back
We arrived late but staff very obliging. Quite a varied menu with tapas, chicken or steak. Feeling hungry we ordered quite a lot but the waiter did advise their portions are quite large so we reduced the order. Food was lovely and tasty, just enough to have happy bellys. Carver sangria went down well! Very polite friendly staff and nice time was had by all.
Will return again 👍
Great food. Reasonably priced. Good wine. Friendly and efficient service. We will be back!
Food was ok, a lot of it had a burnt aftertaste. Service pretty good, but overall probably would not eat here again unfortunately.
Excellent food and drink choices
Will definitely be back
Food was amazing
Tapas dishes were amazing - we have six dishes between the two of us, plus a jug of sangria, plus a shared dessert of churros and ice cream - for £60. Fantastic value, great service and delicious food. We really enjoyed the experience and would return.
We come here often as the food is always good and the bill is always surprisingly little at the end of the night. This visit didn’t disappoint.
A great date night with the wife 😀