Local Food Sussex member Billy's on the Beach is wowing customers with the freshness of its fish and chips caught in the waters it overlooks and delivered from the fishmonger down the road. For those who like to know where their food comes from, it couldn't get much "batter", as a recent article in Sussex lifestyle magazine Etc testifies.
If food miles keep you awake at night, then you will sleep better after a visit to Billy’s On The Beach in East Wittering, near Chichester.
Much of the beachside diner’s fish and shellfish comes from the waters off the stunning Sussex coast, which are almost lapping the edges of its terrace.
And these feasts from the sea are delivered every morning from Something Fishy, Billy’s local fishmonger, based just two minutes’ drive down the road.
“In terms of food miles, I don’t think we could reduce them any more,” says Brett Dyson, Billy’s on the Beach part-owner/manager. “The most important call we receive every day is from our fishmonger who in turn receives calls from the fishermen out at sea, so they know exactly what is being hauled on board.”
At the moment, Billy’s is taking delivery of fresh Dover sole, plaice and cod, all caught by day boats that go out from Chichester harbour. Lobsters and crabs are still being pulled from pots located 10 miles out from the Selsey shoreline.
As the fish is so fresh, the ethos of Billy’s On The Beach is to keep the cooking simple to allow the natural flavours to shine through – so pan fried or grilled with a little sea salt and olive oil.
Freshly prepared sauces are made to complement the taste and texture of each fish. Not all the fish can come from the Sussex coast, so Something Fishy sources haddock from Scotland for Billy’s famous fish and chips.
Next time you visit Billy’s On The Beach, take a closer look at the special boards. It’s not just fish: it is fresh and locally caught fish, that is less than a day from sea to plate.