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UPDATE: Ten Restaurants no longer exists. They’ve re-branded and the restaurant is now called Port House Social Bar. There is an appalling lack of vegan options on the menu. Not even the house salad is vegan. You can maybe order….fries? Anyway, feel free to look back on how amazing the restaurant USED to be.
Every year if we’re not traveling during my birthday, we host a get together with my closest friends to celebrate the occasion. We decided to keep it close to home this year. We live in Port Credit (part of Mississauga, Ontario). If you’re familiar with the area, it’s fairly close to Toronto and not terribly far from Hamilton. It worked out great to host a dinner date here; friends from both Toronto and Hamilton could meet somewhat in the middle. Plus, we could have everyone over to our place after dinner for a round of Cards Against Humanity.
We’ve been to a bunch of restaurants in Port Credit, and Justin suggested that we try out a new spot in town. Without knowing too much about the establishment, I called up Ten Restaurant Mississauga to ask if they could accommodate a table of 14. Indeed, they were able to book our reservation without any issues on a Saturday night for my birthday bash. The menu looked as though it had a couple of vegetarian items on it, but what intrigued me the most was the option to “tweet the chef“. I’d never seen this before at any restaurant and decided to give it a shot.
Success! Within less than a day, Head Chef Nic tweeted me back and verified that he could make us some vegan food.
Upon arriving at the restaurant that evening, there were two large tables alongside one another to seat 14 people. The restaurant had a very luxurious, yet comfortable atmosphere. It could be described best as casual fine-dining. The high ceilings with tall windows let in just enough light until day became night. The surrounding booths were spread far apart so there were no competing conversations between tables. The restaurant was decorated in shades of purple and maroon with modern lights hanging from above. Unfortunately, I only had my smartphone on me and didn’t think to bring the DSLR so I wasn’t able to take any great photos (blogger fail!).
Our waitress was very sweet, helpful, quick, and knowledgeable. She handled our party’s orders with ease, despite having only worked there for one week! I informed her that we were both vegan and she instantly smiled and said, “No problem. Are there any foods that you don’t like?”. Now, don’t kill me you guys, but I am not a fan of either olives or avocados. Justin is pretty much good with anything, so he didn’t make any requests. The server stated, “Okay, great! The chef will create a special meal just for you.” A special meal? Wow! We felt so honored. And it was rather mysterious having no idea what meals would arrive at the table. I was left to wait in suspense (and I liked it).
The drinks and food arrived in a very timely matter. Our meal was carried out by the Sous Chef who created the unique meal himself. He was incredibly proud and enthusiastic about the food that he had prepared for us. It was utterly refreshing to see chefs that are innovative and happy to attempt new meals on those occasions where people may have dietary preferences, food allergies, etc.
This plate of food was at least twice the size of a regular plate, as it was meant to be shared between the two of us. We were given a whole variety of meals all on one plate! The Sous Chef was beaming as he explained each meal to us. I was in such shock over how delectable this plate of food looked that I completely forgot everything that he said moments after he left the table. However, I’ll give it my best shot to explain all of the various portions. Starting at the very back of the plate, there were these gorgeous mushrooms drizzled with a teriyaki glaze. To the left of them in the white dish, there was a serving of rice topped with a sweet potato and tomato mixture with a sauce that tasted mildly cheesy (but still vegan). At the very front, you’ll find some blistered peppers (I think they might be shishito peppers) topped with sesame seeds and a light sauce. Next to those, there was a refreshing and bright salad consisting of greens, beets, peas, onions, and mint over grilled zucchini. And finally, you’ll see some tempura fried mushrooms topped with a fresh tomato salsa.
This dinner was epic. I felt so completely spoiled!
All of my friends thoroughly enjoyed their meals, too! It was definitely a place where you could visit no matter what your diet or food preference and you could eat a tasty meal prepared by talented chefs. The meals on the actual menu looked delicious, too. Next time, I might try the black bean burgers.
If that wasn’t enough, a surprise dessert showed up at the table in honour of my birthday celebration!
It was the most artful fruit bowl that I’d ever been served at a restaurant! There was kiwi, dragonfruit, and mango inside a hollowed out coconut shell. There were sesame crackers wedged along the sides. The fruit at the bottom of the coconut shell was marinating in coconut water. I let all of my friends try some fruit or crackers (yep, I’ll share!) and everyone declared that it was delicious.
At the end of the meal, Head Chef NIc came out to make sure that we enjoyed the meal. The chefs here truly take pride in the food that they create and make the extra effort to ensure that the guests are happy. The wait staff also shared this sentiment. My friends adored our waitress and she even gave hugs to several of us at the end of the meal.
It was such a fabulous night and a memorable birthday party that I had to share with the world. If you’re vegan or have a special diet, don’t hesitate to “tweet the Chef” and they’ll take care of you! For those of you who are curious about the price, our meal came to about $46 which is $23 a person. For a masterfully prepared unique meal that catered to all of our requests, I think that price is more than fair and even quite the bargain.