‘Signature’ is one of the cluster of fashionable new places atop the 1st Avenue building that makes up the complex known as “the roof”.
When you walk in you start to realise this is not your typical Sunday evening restaurant. The entry area is huge, with high ceilings and a mix of dark colours reminiscent of a nightclub. The place is outfitted with a combination of edgy and unusual interior design.
My partner and I had booked a table for two at 7:30 and were taken around a corner, past a long stretching bar, to a circular room with simply the most amazing view. While viewing Kuala Lumpur’s lights sprawling across the horizon, we felt very smug and pleased with our choice for that evening.
‘Signature’ looks great. There is no doubt that the high ceiling, wide open connected rooms and modern décor make this place feel fashionable and classy. The wide open view is the memorable highlight, but the interior of the place is no less impressive. In the background there were some comforting jazz piano tunes playing. This kept up until around 20:30 when the neighbouring establishment started playing pop and electronic music, at which point all you could hear was their thudding base, the piano music effectively being drowned out.
The chairs are very fitting and look and feel to be of high quality, but they were simply uncomfortable. The back rest consists of a wooden plank set up high on your back. There is no lumbar support what so ever so for a long evening these chairs do become an issue. For someone like me with a history of back problems, this kind of thing is important.
Upon arrival, my partner was quite cold, so if you intend to stay a while, don’t dress too thinly. It got warmer towards the latter half of the evening.
The starters on the menu range from 20 to 40 ringgit. I went for the Summer Duck and my dinner companion decided on the Salmon and Maguro Tartar. Both dishes arrived after (a swift) ten minutes and looked flawless. The Summer Duck was thinly sliced duck breast with cubes of feta cheese and some fruit and salad. While the dish was indeed delicious, especially in combination with the longan fruit, I felt it was a little small for my taste. Even as a starter I expect more than four bites.
The tartar was a much larger portion, and the salmon part was just perfect. I especially enjoyed how the seasoning was subtle enough to simply underline the salmon’s innate flavour. This worked less well with the Maguro which turned out to be a little bland. My partner however, thought it was just right, so you should take that as it is, my personal, very subjective opinion.
After finishing the starters, it was a comfortable ten minutes until the main course came, just enough time to realise you are still hungry. I(had ordered the Signature Salmon Pasta, and my partner had ordered the Black Angus Tenderloin.
The Signature Salmon Pasta was a well sized salmon fillet bedded on a base of mushrooms and tagliatelle for 45 ringgit. The waiter had already taken my knife from me, but I did not need it. The salmon easily pulled apart with the nudge of a fork and tasted fresh, juicy and dissolved in the mouth. The pasta sauce was a combination of sweet tomato with pepper. Personally, I am not a huge fan of spicy foods, as too often I find the spices too overpowering and that they hide the other flavours. In this case however the spice was just an aftertaste and I was surprised how well the sweetness of the sauce worked in combination with the spicy finish. I loved this dish, and will be hard pressed not to order it again.
My partner, who also happened to love the Salmon Pasta by the way, is a steak lover. The Black Angus Tenderloin, was a thick juicy slab on top of a creamy mashed potato base, surrounded by sautéed vegetables and a creamy gravy sauce. The vegetables still had crunch and flavour, and the mashed potato went very well with the gravy. The Tenderloin was juicy, very tender, and just right. It was just plain good: exactly what you expect from a good steak. At 88 ringgit this was the most costly dish of the evening, but steak lovers know that the price lies with the ingredients. Often have I paid more for less.
Desserts run from 17 ringgit to 25 and encapsulate a pretty common selection ranging from a cheese platter to red velvet cake. I opted for the trio Crème Brûlée and my dinner companion went for the Spicy chocolate lava cake.
The trio Crème Brûlée consisted of three flavours, classic, cappuccino and ginger. The classic Crème Brûlée was as expected, delicious. The cappuccino flavour was very strong. If you decide to order this dish, I suggest you start with the ginger, since the cappuccino flavoured Crème Brûlée will overpower the taste of the ginger one. All three are delicious, and the ginger one works better than I had anticipated. If you enjoy Crème Brûlée, then this dish might offer a pleasant change to the regular flavour, while still offering the comfort of knowing exactly what to expect.
The Spicy Chocolate lava cake is an alternative version to another classic. When we ordered it the waiter warned us that it would take 25 minutes, but we were well satisfied with the main courses and had set our minds upon getting some lava cake. Well worth the wait!
Instead of a molten core of chocolate, it is a combination of red fruits mixed with chocolate. The outside has a certain crunch, and the inside just oozes out once the spoon cuts to the centre. A single scoop of vanilla ice cream goes well to balance out the strong chocolaty goodness. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish, as did my partner. One thing that I noticed however was the absence of the “spicy” part. It tasted like regular delicious chocolate lava cake. This is not a criticism since I will have this again, but the title suggests a stronger spicy component. I do enjoy chilli chocolate occasionally and wouldn’t mind experiencing it in combination with the lava cake, this dish however, did not need any tampering with and is just right the way it is.
This place is suitable for
If you have planned a quiet relaxing evening, then Signature is not for you. Although you may be able to relax and have a nice evening, there is too much stimulation going on. The place filled up with large groups at around 20:30 and the drinks menu gives clear implications as to why that is. The selection of bowl sized cocktails seems well suited for groups out for a big night.
While the first impression is one of class and luxury, I do recommend this place if you have a big night planned. The energy is quite high and the adjacent nightclubs are hard to ignore. If you wish to impress a date, and go dancing after, I cannot think of a better place to do so. However sitting down with family that has come to visit will become awkward once the group of young party goers next to you liven up!
The food is fairly priced and delicious. The drinks, especially at happy hour, seem to attract a lot of people as well. Next time I go, I plan on testing more of the drink options. Oh! And I will definitely try that Chocolate Lava Cake again!