I won’t lie to you – the first time I went to Polonesa I was not thoroughly convinced. It doesn’t look like much from the outside and it doesn’t get much better on the inside. It doesn’t look bad exactly – it just looks a bit boring. However, I am familiar with some Polish dishes and was very happy to see that they had all the classics on the menu – bigos, pierogi and gołąbki were all there and were all delicious. And behind the bar I spotted another old favourite which I hadn’t seen in a long time – Żubrówka (Bison Grass Vodka).

But the real reason for going arrives after all the savoury stuff – the famous Chocolate Soufflé! This thing is seriously impressive and not to be missed. It takes a while for them to prepare (all those egg whites don’t beat themselves!), so make sure you tell the waiter you want the soufflé when you first sit down. When it finally arrives it’s a real head-turner – fresh from the oven, the foamy, chocolatey dessert wobbles slightly as it is brought to the table. Did I mention that it is on fire?! The waiter takes care of that and serves it up quickly before things collapse. It is heavenly.

Is a Polish restaurant what everyone is going to feel like on a hot, sunny day in Rio? Maybe not. But when it rains you’ll suddenly find that the beach, Cristo, Sugarloaf and plenty of other things are off the agenda – it can also get quite chilly. That’s when some Polish food, washed down with some fine vodka and finished off with a flaming chocolate soufflé becomes one of the best things to do in town.

Pros: Hello? Did you read the bit about the flaming chocolate soufflé? 

Cons: Rather drab interior.

Expensive: 3/5

Address: Rua Hilário Gouveia, 116 – Copacabana

Telephone: +55 (21) 2547-7378

Website: N/A