“NICE”, in my opinion, is not a compliment.

More often than not it’s a polite middle-class response to something we believe is somewhere between cringe-worthy and genuinely off-putting.

For example: “Thanks for taking me out tonight, Shaun – I had a really nice time. I don’t think I’ve ever learnt so much about oral fungal infections.”

I had to hope the managers of NICE Bar and Restaurant were just being coy when they named their venue.

My friend and I popped into the Storey Creative Industries Centre on a Thursday.

The 1898 building, built by local philanthropist and tradesman Thomas Storey, houses the restaurant and its age is contrasted by a blinding tangerine interior.

High ceilings and a quiet atmosphere make NICE feel slightly intimidating.

However, the staff were extremely polite and the menu was brimming with choice.

It’s a great place to impress a Mediterranean-loving vegetarian or vegan, and it didn’t do too badly in pleasing us less-demanding grub-lovers, although prices were a bit on the steep side.

My friend ordered the Morecambe Bay shrimp platter and the classic vegan pizza – partly to see what that would be.

And I chose the Winders of Lancaster apricot pâté and roasted red pepper filled with vegetable risotto.

Sharply presented, fresh, colourful and interesting, each meal was more than its description suggested.

The thick and tasty risotto also featured roasted aubergine and butternut squash.

My friend’s shrimp platter was equally impressive. The only disappointment was the non-dairy topping didn’t melt or taste like cheese.

Topped off with great company and a good bottle of French rosé wine, it made for an amazing night that I was sad to depart from.

Not “nice” in the polite sense of the word at all.