MY visit to Crows Restaurant felt a bit uncanny.

It was like one of those dreams inspired by late-night cheese-eating, too many Edgar Allen Poe stories and an over-exposure to the X Files as a child.

The large Lancaster restaurant is in a prime city centre location but it was almost empty when my two friends and I arrived.

Although it was only 8.45pm, and still daylight when we arrived, a lip-glossed waitress told us they had stopped serving food.

Feeling slightly jilted, we left, only to have a waiter chase after us to tell us there had been a mistake and they were, in fact, still open for business. Very odd.

The three of us sat, huddled together at a large wooden table, next to a mini Mexican statue and an odd skeleton mural. Fairy lights lined the corners above us and, despite the restaurant’s old-school Mexican theme, The Foals’ latest dance-indie album could be heard in the background.

The soundtrack and looming red and yellow wall decorations made for an odd atmosphere. I wondered what the food would be like.

When dishes arrived they were friendly and colourful – lots of nachos, lots of cheese, lots of sour cream. I had home-made fishcakes, which were a good idea but amounted to the same fried food you can get anywhere in the world. It was the only thing about the restaurant that seemed predictable.

Our waiter, with white-blond hair and conspicuous biceps, picked up plates nervously, telling us this wasn’t his normal job.

Then staff seemed to disappear and we timidly peeked around wooden art pieces to find someone to pay.

Staff were lined up by the door when we left. The pretty blond one, the muscular one, and another all watched as we slipped out and onto the pavement.

Wandering home I asked my friends what they thought.

“Weird,” was the best we could come up with.