This story is about a youngish Chilean man with ambition that I met at a Spanish restaurant in Welling 3 years ago. Lorenzo looked after the front of house and often spoke about his dream of opening a Spanish restaurant in Dartford, Kent. This restaurant when he described it at the time was going to be in a building akin to that of a private member’s club in Soho. A games area, a cigar room, a bar with the finest drinks and a tapas restaurant all within one building. Yep, it was definitely a big dream filled with tons of ideas, however when you hear Lorenzo speak you pretty much gather he has the drive to make it come true. When his life’s long dream of opening a Spanish restaurant finally came to fruition by partnering with Craig and Greg, I just had to visit to see what he came up with. The verdict after two visits is definitely a positively glowing one, even with the missing Cuban cigar and games room (one day Lorenzo ) . The restaurant called Carnaval meat and tapas bar is located on 70 Spital street, a few minutes walk from Dartford station. I dare say this is the best Spanish restaurant in Dartford, or even the best restaurant in Dartford. The reviews and ratings on Tripadvisor pretty much captured my thoughts about the place.
Now the first time I visited Carnaval meat and tapas restaurant, I had Sardines ( Craig’s recommendations) , black pudding sausage with rice and spinach and a massive bottle of red wine for sunday lunch. It wouldnt be an understatement if I said I walked out fully fed, swaying and satisfied. All the tapas I ate hit the right notes. The sardines or Sardinas a la Astrianas were grilled to perfection and the black pudding or Morcilla Con Arroz Y Espinaca Salteada was also delicious.
|Sardinas a la Asturianas|
|Red red wine stay close to me|
|Morcilla Con Arroz Y Espinaca Salteada|
My second visit to Lorenzo’s was by chance. We had a viewing in Dartford just after lunchtime, so eating at Lorenzo’s seemed like the right thing to do. We got there pretty early…well 12pm to be exact so we spent time chatting to Lorenzo about Dartford ( we actually left the restaurant quickly for a tour of some new flats opening near Dartford station and came back to Carnaval to finally order lunch). We ordered a variety of dishes on the menu ranging from the flaming chorizos at £5.85 to the pan fried scallops at £9.40. A majority of their tapas is priced between the £ 5 – £ 7 range. Which makes it quite affordable. It can be pretty filling…if you know what to order.
|Juicy lamb croquettes|
|Chorizo al Inferno|
|Vieiras con Pure de Calabaza : pan fried scallops with butternut squash cream|
|Gambas Al aljilo : Garlic prawns|
|Piquillos Rellenos Chilli Con Carne|
|Montaditos : bread , tomato/ garlic , Serrano ham and Spanish cheese|
And finally a main I coudnt finish so packed it up to go after a few bites.
|Rack of lamb and herbs|
As you can see from this picture, we needed 2 tables for all that food. Thanks for joining in Lorenzo, would have a been a struggle otherwise. We washed all the dishes down with a Jug of sangria and a bottle of Malbec ofcourse.
|Yes , I ordered grilled sardines on both visits|
There goes my time at Carnval meat and Tapas bar. Solid dishes , decent wine and great host. What more can one wish for. I’m looking forward to my next visit already. If you ever do get to visit, tell Lorenzo that the King of Welling aka Makele sent you :).