Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
There’s a theory suggesting that if you sit and wait long enough, everything will come to you. If this principle has much currency, there...

There’s a theory suggesting that if you sit and wait long enough, everything will come to you.

Jolly Fryer at Nettlestone

If this principle has much currency, there have probably been a few gurus on mountaintops waiting for a very long time for a nice fresh fish supper to come along. What they really ought to do is set up a seminary in Chale Green, Nettlestone, Godshill, Niton or St Helens. Then at least they could be sure of the Jolly Fryer mobile fish and chip wagon coming around every week.

Fish and chip aficionado Matt has observed the mobile chippy in various locations across the Island, but never quite managed to catch up with it – usually being near a more traditional, static establishment. But one Saturday evening he made the effort and took junior reviewers Bill and Jack and their pal Toby out to Nettlestone to give the Jolly Fryer a spin.

The Jolly Fryer is a very well-organised establishment which is far more than just a glorified burger van. Proper fryers, cooking real fish and chips, dealt out in wrapped paper and not nasty polystyrene boxes. One thing Matt and the lads very soon found out is that the name is not just for show: a very cheerful welcome was given, and the staff in the truck gave out a constant stream of chat to the customers, even greeting some by name. This is a well-established local institution, and a popular one.

All the usual chip-shop staples are on offer, and at prices very similar to fixed chippys. Matt ordered a large cod and large chips for only £6.10, which is comparable to the same order from Alexanders a few weeks earlier, which cost £5.90. The lads had a cheeseburger and two battered jumbo sausages, all with chips. As there was a sizeable queue, it took a some time, which was entertainingly spent by Matt sneaking pics of the wagon by pretending to take pictures of the lads posing – a subterfuge they were more than anxious to perpetuate for as long as possible. However by the time the freshly-cooked parcel was delivered, all four were ready to rush it home for further ‘analysis’.

Jolly Fryer, cod and chips

On arrival, the diners fell on the food with relish. It was certainly acceptable in amount – Matt’s cod was particularly large. However it fell a little short in quality. The battered items were greasy, and when unwrapped the batter stuck solidly to the paper (see picture) – not always a good sign. The chips were not bad, but perhaps a little longer in the fryer might have helped both them and the fish. Still, the lads gave the burger and sausages a vote of approval, and probably it’s the best accolade of all to say that between four chaps, not a fragment of the Jolly Fryer’s offering was left behind uneaten.

The Jolly Fryer gets about much of the Island, and especially when it is at Niton, Godshill  or Chale Green, it is going to be providing the best fish and chips in the area – as there are no others. It also does pretty well to offer food at decent prices, and with such excellent ‘jolly’ service.


Locations as of 2022 (check for details of timings):

The Jolly Fryer, mobile fish and chips

  • SEZZER says:


  • Nicky M says:

    The Jolly Fryer provided much happiness to those many dark and long winter nights as we rocked up to the Seaview village to get our fix of a quaint English tradition. Long live the Jolly Fryer!

  • Les says:

    Due to re-location unfortunately we moved out of The Jolly Fryers catchment area, prior to this for some 10+years we dined every Friday night with The Jolly Fryer at Niton plus in fact in the good old days it was Wednesday lunchtimes aswell although sadly due to a deminishing clientel through natural wastage the mid-week visit eventually became non-viable. Throughout all this time we never had cause for complaint, for us it was 100% customer satisfaction everytime giving a overall scoring of 10/10.
    One of our favourites on the menu was the half-pounder cheeseburger with tomato relish = nothing else comes close !!! The mobile Jolly Fryer arrives immaculately presented with a glowing 5 star hygiene rating in our opinion. For a take-away on the move life doesn’t get much better than this so track them down at one of their regular weekly locations and try the food for yourselves ? “Get-In”

  • DJ says:

    Somewhat surprised by some of the comments, we come over to the island twice a year and always look forward to our fish and chips, we come from London, you should try our local chippy it’s rubbish. Why do the British always complain, if you don’t like it don’t buy it. We are back over in 3 weeks time and always start our holiday with meeting the van at Niton on a Friday night, we have always found it great, never had a problem.

  • Nick Churchill says:

    Hi Sam, I just did a quick search to see if I could find contact details for the Jolly Fryer…best I could find is the Street Traders Licence Application that does include his contact details
    Hope this helps 🙂

  • Sam MATTHEWLOVE says:

    I was wondering if it was possible to hire the Jolly Fryer for wedding reception were having on the Island? If so how much for?.. It’s Saturday night in August ?

  • M. Leivers says:


  • Gavin says:

    Having had a Jolly Fryer fish supper last Saturday night at Nettlestone we were left wondered how the van, the three occupants and the hot cooking fat all managed to travel safely around the lanes and inclines/declines of East Wight? Does the fat get drained into a sealed container ahead of the move? The food, price and service(even to someones doorway) were all excellent by the way!

  • Island Girl says:

    Must say that the portions of chip are incredibly small and rather expensive. A large portion will not serve two adults! The fish is lovely but poorly filleted. On 3 out of 4 occassions our fish has been full of bones; my last piece of cod had 9 bones in it and my partners had 5 and I am not talking small bones. Disappointing and I won’t be rushing to join the queue again!

  • wendy saxon says:

    wondering if I can get ‘The Jolly Fryer’ to rock up at my wedding reception?!

  • Lorraine says:

    Having only moved into the area recently we have got to try out the Jolly Fryer just once so far, but we must say that all 3 of us thoroughly enjoyed our meals. Having asked for 2 large Cod the staff felt the fish they had left didn’t quite size up so they gave us an extra bit. The batter was lovely and the chips were not greasy at all and the Scampi went down a treat. Sadly due to high winds the residents of Godshill missed out last night but we will look forward to good weather next Thursday and our fish supper!

  • Holiday Maker says:

    Been a few times but not as consistant as should be much prefer the shops particularly
    Ocean View always cooked fresh

  • Dave says:

    I have eaten at the Jolly Fryer many times and I have always had a good meal.

  • The Billo-bob says:

    Its just some nice local fish and chips. Its nice to get some air while you wait, and the food despite being fairly greasy, provided some smiles and chatty talk once brought back to the home. If you are looking for high-quality chips look some-where else, however this is a nice place to pick up a chippie.
    -The Billo-bob

  • jacob says:

    I am a regular weekly visitor of the Jolly Fryer and have always been pleased with the service and quality of the food.

  • Caroline says:

    You can reach the Jolly Fryer on 07968 351757

  • fraser lloyd jones says:

    Does anyone have the number for the Jolly Fryer?

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