The Old Couch Cafe
Shortly after The Old Couch Cafe opened quietly in February 2020, in a premises on O’Connell Street in Waterford city which has seen restaurants come and go, the whispers started. Something good was happening in TOCC. Something very good. Then Covid arrived, and Damira Levacic and Przemyslaw Muszynski had to adopt a “dine at home” menu. But once Covid has been sorted, everyone will be itching to get a table here, because walking into TOCC is like stumbling into the neighbourhood restaurant you wish your neighbourhood had. There are fairly lights on the ceiling. The menu is on a gigantic blackboard. Tables heave with wonderful produce from legendary vegetable grower Tom Cleary. There are giant Kilner jars of various pickled and fermented goods. Irish apples are laid out in a great line. There are bowls of chestnuts. It’s the most beguiling shuttered restaurant you’ve ever been in, and the food is a delight.
Romanesco broccoli in a brown butter crumb with chorizo. Slow cooked shoulder of pork with sage and apple stuffing. Venison bangers with truffle mash and wild mushroom gravy. Parsnip cake that’s as light as a cloud. Orange and pecan cake. There’s a deep skill to this food that the rustic presentation belies, but with Damira taking care of the sweet treats and Przemyslaw showing his unique take on savoury food, every plate proves that there is depthless soul and passion in this food. The Old Couch is nothing less than a labour of love, and you can taste the love in every morsel. Deeply original, and deeply wonderful.
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