BeFries is bringing traditional Belgian Fries to Brighton. An independent, family run restaurant selling hand-cut, double cooked Belgian style fries which are accompanied by a wide selection of unique sauces. Dashal Beevers, who co-founded the restaurant with his brother Chan, explains the concept behind BeFries
“The Belgian’s were the first people to ever fry potatoes and have truly mastered the art of cooking chips. We learnt this first hand growing up in Amsterdam. Eating Belgian Fries, with an abundance of sauces, was always a treat and something to look forward to. However, despite the universal love of potatoes and chips, it wasn’t a concept that could be found back home in the UK.”
It was this thought, together with Dashal’s creative flair and entrepreneurial streak, that led him to the vision of BeFries. He then set about persuading his brother, Chan to join him in the new venture. At the time, Chan was working in a top London restaurant as a head pastry chef. An experienced and talented chef, he decided this was the new challenge he’d been looking for. Together, they began researching and planning the launch of BeFries.
There was a year and a half of preparation and hard work. The brothers made trips to Holland to meet with potential suppliers and test products, sought advice from a chip consultant from one of Belgian’s finest and most established chip shops, and scouted out a suitable location.
As the idea became a reality, they enlisted the help of two of their siblings. Their sister Ezda, with twenty years’ client facing experience, quickly became an invaluable member of the team; providing a welcoming and friendly service to customers. And their brother Joe, another chef with over twenty years’ experience in the industry, who is constantly pushing the flavour boundaries and creating new sauces to add to the already eclectic selection.
This combination has made for a very friendly and fun eating experience, with the one and only product being chips, which are accompanied by an array of unique sauces, ranging from traditional Belgian mayonnaise to beetroot and horseradish, sate and smoked chilli ketchup.
The restaurant has an open plan feel to it and the chips are both hand-cut and cooked behind the counter, allowing the customers to become involved in the process. Creating the perfect Belgian fry is a real art and takes dedicated and lengthy training. Firstly, Agria potatoes are hand-selected from the best UK potato growers, then they are hand-cut and then fried for the first time up to 120 degrees. Then the fries need to cool down and finally, when the customer orders they are fried for a second time to make them crispy and golden. The type of potato and oil used are all influencing factors on the final product. Potatoes are a raw product, their structure changes throughout the season, meaning it can be different every time you cook them. It requires experience and knowledge to get them just right.
BeFries opened its doors on West Street in Brighton on the 5th August 2016 and has gone from strength to strength; collaborating with local sauce makers, building links with independent businesses and producers and supporting local charities. The word is spreading about the best chip shop in town, with a strong following of regulars and consistently in the top 3 restaurants in Brighton on TripAdvisor. BeFries also won its first award in March, in the ‘best bites on a budget’ category, in the city-wide Bravo awards which was 100% public vote. With features in local and national press the future for BeFries is looking bright.
This is the place to stop at next time you’re in Brighton for a meal or quick snack. Take away – with a cone and sauce on top - so you can stroll the short distance down to the beach. Or, if you have time, eat in and sample a selection of sauces. Then you will know which is your favourite the next time you stop by.