El Polaco is a Polish restaurant in Puerto del Carmen, located on the main road into the old town and a short distance from the Biosfera Shopping centre. We recently visited with friends, who were keen for us to try it.

Many readers will remember the location, as it was previously Quintins. Seating is all inside, and the decor is quite minimalist, with a show kitchen at one end of the restaurant.

The menu consists of mainly Polish dishes, with a few interesting and unusual international dishes, as well as the more normal selection of steaks and fish. The polish dishes use their original names, but the descriptions are clear and helpful.

I chose Bigos for my starter – described as mixed meat, sauerkraut cabbage and mushrooms. It was a large, filling portion, of the most delicious mince meat, cooked in a slightly spicy sauce – kind of like a hearty stew with bags of flavour.

Julie went for deep fried Lanzarote cheese served with a blackberry marmalade. Again, it was a very healthy portion, and the goats cheese was perfectly cooked with a crispy coating and oozing centre.

For my main, I chose the classic Stroganoff, which was cooked “Polish” style. It was a fabulous dish, and much closer to the Stroganoff I’ve tried in Eastern Europe – strips of good steak, with a really rich sauce. It was served on a potato pancake which worked perfectly to soak up the fabulous gravy.

Julie chose slow roasted leg of lamb, which consisted if thin slices of lamb, in another wonderful gravy, heavily laced with mint sauce. Her main was served with chips and salad, mashed potato and vegetables is available as an alternative. With hindsight the mash would have been a better choice as salad with gravy is a strange combination.

We enjoyed a bottle of Bermejo Tinto with the meal, and it had enough body for the rich food.

For dessert there’s a limited choice of homemade daily specials. I chose the chocolate meringue and Julie was tempted by the Bailey’s cheesecake.

The service was excellent and attentive, although it was a quiet night. It was a real pleasure to try somewhere different and with some new things to discover on the menu.

Overall, El Polaco is excellent value for money, and if you enjoy hearty portions and nicely flavoured food, it’s one you should try.

You’ll find them at Calle Juan Carlos 1, 25, in Puerto del Carmen. You can call to book on 625 72 88 20. They are open every day except Sunday, from 1800 until 2230.