In our enviable location right on the beachfront, with the waves practically lapping at our door (sometimes literally!), making the most of the best ingredients the sea has to offer comes naturally. But we wouldn’t get our fish and seafood from just anyone: it has to be our trusted local fishmonger, Something Fishy, which you can find just a couple of minutes’ drive from Billy’s in East Wittering.
Our most important phone call of the day is from Adam or Harry at Something Fishy telling us what the fishermen on their day boat have caught today. It’s exciting for us as food lovers, because we never quite know what it’s going to be, and only once we know what’s coming in the next morning does our chef Richard start planning the day’s specials.
The guiding principle in our kitchen is that fresh fish and seafood tastes best the less you do to it, so recently our customers have been enjoying dishes like perfectly grilled skate with lemon and chive butter, or sea bream with salsa verde and cherry tomatoes. June is when we start seeing the first sardines of the season on the menu: simply cooked and served with a sprinkle of sea salt and a cherry tomato and red onion salad, they are truly the taste of summer. Some of our customers come especially for them!
Not all of our fish can be found off the Sussex coastline, so Something Fishy sources the haddock for our famous fish and chips from Scotland’s North Sea fishermen. And when the waves are too rough for the day boat to launch, Adam and his team make sure we have the pick of the best alternative sources until the boats can take to the English Channel again.
But when it comes to local fish, no-one knows these waters like Something Fishy – and if you really want to see exactly where their fish comes from, they’ll show you. You can book a number of different fishing tours, and even catch your own dinner and learn how to prepare and cook it.
If catching and cooking it yourself sounds too much like hard work, though, Billy’s always has something tempting on the menu using the freshest fish and seafood. We receive our Something Fishy delivery every morning around 10am, packed in ice, and it’s pretty amazing to think that less than 24 hours ago, the fish was swimming in the sea off the Sussex coast, just a mile or two off the Selsey shoreline.
So the next time you are in, take a good look at our specials board, because now you know it’s not just fish: it’s locally-caught fish that is less than a day from the sea to your plate. And you don’t get much fresher than that.
And that’s why we’re teaming up with Something Fishy and our local Goldmark Brewery to bring you our first ever Beer & Batter event in October – a chance to enjoy a whole host of extra-special fish and seafood dishes and an extended range of Goldmark brews. Save the date – it’s going to be a good one!