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“High expectations not quite met”
Review of Signatures

Signatures
Ranked #238 of 476 Restaurants in Colchester
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
192 reviews
118 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“High expectations not quite met”
Reviewed 19 May 2013

I had been waiting to dine at Signatures for a while, after seeing the amount of publicity of the opening and the fact the respected head chef, Paul Boorman, oversees operations. On walking through the elegant hotel to the brassiere, the decor is modern and is very striking, certainly has a fine dining feel to it.

After being seated, the extensive wine list was viewed and a decision made to order from the a la carte menu instead of the set price menu (£19.50 for three courses). Mixed olives worked through, we opted for the devilled crab and crispy duck egg for starters. The crispy duck egg was sensational, with the brioche soldiers being very moreish. The devilled crab however was not only expensive (£8), it was disappointing. I would liken it to a posh sandwich filler, with the flavours just not quite clicking.

Onto the mains, where we ordered the local rib eye steak and pot roast chicken, with a side of truffled chips and parmesan. The rib eye steak was very small, although cooked perfectly, the potato was dry and tasteless, although the piccalilli was tangy and flavoursome. My partner did not enjoy the pot roast chicken, saying it was too creamy and had an overpowering garlic taste. From looking at it, the chicken looked moist and the dish looked like ideal winter warming food.

Finally desserts, where we opted for frozen latte mousse and a strawberry jelly special, my partner enjoyed the strawberry dessert although did comment on the cheapness to make the dessert and it being priced at £5.50. The frozen latte mousse was average, not having any stand out flavour.

In summary, the dishes are all very well presented, the service is extremely friendly and attentive, the decor is spot on, however have such high expectations for the food it did fall flat in this area for flavour and we left feeling hungry still. Maybe it was our menu choices, as I would certainly opt for different dishes should I return, the restaurant was fairly quiet too. Certainly one I would re-visit as I am sure it would not be too far away from being good!

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank legend187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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12 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Stunning quality of imaginative food”
Reviewed 21 April 2013

For a "big" birthday I invited my closest friends to join me at Signatures for what I hoped would be a real "fine dining" experience. The result was even better than I could have hoped for. The food, which was truly "imaginative" and wonderfully presented tasted as good as it looked, and it looked stunning. In my humble opinion it was as good as anything I've had before, and I've been fortunate to eat in a number of "celebrated" restaurants over the years. Attentive and engaing staff certainly added to our experience. A real treat well worth experiencing. Thank you for a great evening.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Steve W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fabulous 50th”
Reviewed 21 April 2013

What can I say? Outstanding for everything! We have just arrived home after staying at Wivenhoe House hotel for a 50th birthday celebration which was pure luxury from the minute we arrived until we departed. Our fine dining birthday dinner on Saturday night took the experience of eating out to a whole new level. We were treated to 6 courses all of which provoked conversation, loads of wow's and made sure you couldn't wait for the next. The service of all the staff either in the bar or the restaurant was brilliant, always checking if we had everything we needed. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble. We couldn't recommend this restaurant highly enough and can't wait to revisit.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Wendy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“valuable time with my wife”
Reviewed 11 April 2013

Because of our busy family and work lives my wife and i get little time to go out quietly together and enjoy each others company and a good meal. We went to Signatures Restaurant on a Friday evening and had a fantastic experience. I would say fantastic meal but it was so much more than that. The service, ambiance, food were wonderful. I ate last week at the Hand and Flowers and had a brilliant meal. Given the choice between the two i would go for Signatures every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Worth a special trip, we will be back very soon.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank john j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
201 reviews
119 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 220 helpful votes
“Pampered with posh food!”
Reviewed 26 March 2013

The highlight of a stay at this hotel was the fabulous meal we had in the Signatures restaurant cooked by the regularly award winning head chef Paul Boorman. He is particularly interested in molecular gastronomy and this is clearly displayed in the menu and the food we were served.

I think the photos I have attached say it all, but the taste of the food was truly incredible!

If you are into fine dining as we are, you just have to try this restaurant. It is described as a three course menu but actually if you add the extras of palate cleansers and cheese course it's a six course meal. It was like going on a big food adventure with treats and surprises along the way and we didn’t want it to end!

Each course had many well presented with well thought out elements and all were prepared with skill and finesse to produce a visually tempting appearance, interesting combinations of ingredients and an explosion on the taste buds. It was truly a delight and felt like we had been treated the whole evening!

Signatures has left me wanting to return to try all of the other dishes on the menu. I can't wait!

As Arnie would say "I'll be back!" (you have to do the accent!)

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Just_a_Giraffe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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