I was apprehensive about Signature, apprehensive for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I was entering the unknown. In spite of passing it numerous times to gallivant around the bars of Poznańska, the windows are set high off the ground, meaning I’d never really managed to peek inside: I was straying into unchartered waters. Secondly, conscious the expense account was creeping up to its limit, I had expected my pockets to take a bit of a mauling.
But any hesitation subsided on entry. Greeting me was a sophisticated space decorated in fresh vanilla tones that were soft and inviting. Choosing to sit round the corner, on a banquette with a view of the glass-topped atrium, it was from this vantage point the smaller details became apparent: cutlery from Eternum; original Marilyn photographs shot by Milton Greene; and sensitively restored Soviet-era columns. In short, it looked the part. And so did the menu, a thoughtful effort that’s contemporary but not flamboyant. The amuse bouche – Chavignol cheese with a subtle pear chutney – was fantastic, so it was no surprise to find my starter of tuna tataki was exactly how it should be: thinly sliced, briefly seared and then served with a ginger glaze and mango and mint. I was tempted to order another.
I resisted this bait, opting instead to wait for my main of duck breast. Moist, and pink in all the right places, it was a similar success, and one made all the better for its raspberry sauce. Call me ill mannered, but I couldn’t stop myself from mopping up every last bit. For the final chapter, dessert, I put myself in the hands of the waiter. Throughout the meal, he had excelled in his duty; I find it important staff connect with the diner, and here they do just that. When he recommended the chocolate fondant, I had no hesitation: his call was correct. Served with a passion fruit mousse, it was a magnificent end to an extraordinary meal – and with a final price of zł. 112, neither was it the atomic figure I’d foresaw at the start. – Alex Webber