Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
Graham Clark
Features Writer
6:00 AM 23rd June 2021

The Old Bank - Cross Hills New Bar And Restaurant - A New Asset Which Might Interest You

It is a busy Friday night and even the roads in Cross Hills are jammed packed with drivers aiming to get home before the latest Euro 2020 football match kicks off.

As we approach the Old Bank I can see a few fans sat outside having a drink. Having thought I might have made a bad decision to visit the town’s new bar and restaurant on a footie night, my mind is eased as we enter the newly opened restaurant and are escorted to the white walled dining room, which thankfully is divided by a corridor from the bar room. There is even a big old safe from the days when the building was indeed a bank.

I still can’t work out why it was so noisy in the dining area, the inflated sound levels were certainly not coming from the bar room. In the end I concluded that we were sat by some very talkative women as when they left the noise abated and the atmosphere made for a more convivial dining experience.

The idea behind the Old Bank is to serve Tapas in the Spanish style: they recommend you order 6 or 7 choices with your selected dishes arriving in no particular order. Three chefs beaver away in the kitchen as the attentive staff ensure your table is never empty.

The menu might seem unconventional at first - choices are divided into categories such as Anti Pasto, Cheese, Meat, Fish and Vegetables allowing the diner to order a bespoke meal.

Rustic bread and oilsRustic bread and oils
Breaded French BrieBreaded French Brie

As a starter the choice of rustic warm breads served with oils and balsamic reduction appeared to be a good one, priced individually at £3.50.

It was the first time I had tasted breaded Brie, (£5.50) for my palate the cheese was a little too mild whereas, perhaps, a Normandy Camembert might have added more bite. Nevertheless the shallot and thyme marmalade gave the Brie an extra zing.

Spiced pork meatballsSpiced pork meatballs
Patatas BravaPatatas Brava

My Thai Spiced Pork Meatballs (£5.50) served with Thai garnish were divine, whilst my sister decided upon one of the day’s specials - the Patatas Bravas (£4.00) which came with a very tomatoey dressing. Other options on the specials that day included Wild Mushroom Spinach Bruschetta with crumbled Feta (£5.00)

There are lots of other options for vegetarians too, including a not too hot Sweet Potato and Spinach Dahl (£6.00).

Sweet potato and spinach DahlSweet potato and spinach Dahl
Falafel with pickled red cabbageFalafel with pickled red cabbage

I would recommend a huge glass of water to accompany the Falafel served with pickled red cabbage (£5.50). This hot and spicy vegetable dish certainly packed a punch. Through the noise of the ladies chatter I could just about hear Donna Summer appropriately singing Hot Stuff!

Apparently they serve desserts too, but they are missing a trick here by not listing them on the main menu. Only a chalkboard hidden by the till highlights what we sadly missed. By the time we saw the options on offer we had our coats on and it was time to leave.

As for the mains I was highly impressed with the quality of the options on offer - I am sure too that you will enjoy a good dining experience here - not always something you can bank on!

The Old Bank, Main Street, Cross Hills, BD20 8TB
Telephone: 01535 636577