Chet's, Shepherd's Bush: The Lowdown

By Lydia Manch Last edited 14 months ago

Last Updated 21 March 2023

Chet's, Shepherd's Bush: The Lowdown
Image by Chet's, London.

What's the story?

Thai-Americana mash-up from chef Kris Yenbamroong, Chet's started off as a pop-up underneath the Hoxton Holborn in Rondo La Cave, their incubator kitchen. The transfer to a — hopefully long-term — spot in the new Hoxton Shepherd's Bush is great news for west Londoners, and tbf good news for everybody prepared, as we are, to cross an underground zone or two in search of stuff like the pineapple and crab rice, or the Thai spice-dusted Caesar.

Chet's is an LA import, the first London outpost for Yenbamroong after his Night + Market quartet in the US — three in LA, and a recent Vegas opening. While it's not a direct match for the N+M menus, it's along the same California-influenced Thai streetfood lines.

What's the vibe?

Informal, loud, buzzy, a bit of hipster-kitsch maximalism (think flamboyant sharing cocktails, and fried rice served inside a half pineapple). Despite this being — and I was born in Goldhawk Road area and say this with affection — probably the highest concentration of hipster indicators to ever coalesce in W12, the diners on all of our several visits have been a mix of mildly corporate-looking exec groups, presumably trickling down from White City's offices, a scattering of date nights, and a few groups of friends getting nicely shouty in the booths.

What's on the menu?

Look out for high-heat salads, and, our highlights, the waterfall lamb — grilled, rare, extremely tender, extremely chillied — and the crabby, garlic-heavy pineapple rice. The Chet's menu's fiery, with clashes of Thai and LA food tropes that feel less like fusion and more like a cheerfully chaotic wrestling match. Expect mash-ups like the tuna melt, with tuna larb blanketed in American cheese. Or the Bodega sandwich, a kaiser roll crammed with scrambled egg and cheese, with northern Thai sai ua sausage and umami ketchup.

The drinks menu includes an excellent Thai-spiced, lip-numbingly hot twist on a Caesar, an emphasis on natural wine, and a bunch of high-energy cocktails — think the four-person sharer Thaiami Vice, mashing together two spirits, four fruits, and a lot of champagne — that sound like a student union rep came up with them but IRL are nuanced-yet-punchy like the food menu.

Chet's, London. Image by Anton Rodriguez.


Doesn't look painful on paper, not for the quality of the dishes: plates at around £12-£20, wine starting at about £30, cocktails £12-£15. In our experience, though, it's easy for things to escalate; the portions are coming in big on flavour but modest-to-average in size, and even our supposedly lowkey drop-ins — a couple of drinks each and some snacks — have come in at £45+ a head. Some of that's down, though, to how good it is, and the urge to pile more larb gai onto every order, so whether we've visited with restraint or wild abandon, we've yet to regret it.

Image by Chet's, London.

Al fresco, takeaway, delivery?

Yes to al fresco, with a little bit of outdoor seating. No takeaway or delivery, but tbh the venue's a significant part of the pleasure — and despite it being a hot ticket, we've always managed to get a walk-in table with a maximum of 10 minutes waiting with a drink at the bar.

The poached egg on toast at Chet's, with Thai salad and nam jim sauce. Image by Lydia Manch.

What else should we do while we're in Shepherd's Bush?

Work up an appetite at Flipper's, another LA import — the OG one a 70s roller rink dubbed 'Studio 54 on wheels' — or if you're in the market for something a little less demanding, check out Puttshack's crazy golf.

Londonist visited anonymously, and paid for our meals.