Renowned chef Kris Yenbamroong, best known for LA restaurants Night + Market and Night + Market Song, has devised the menu at Chet’s, a Thai American diner pop-up that will become a permanent restaurant in an undisclosed Shepherd’s Bush location later this year.
It will initially run at Rondo La Cave, inside the Hoxton Hotel in Holborn. The same hotel group happens to be opening a hotel in Shepherd’s Bush, later this year, when the pop-up is scheduled to move west. Diners who like putting two and two together can probably figure this one out.
A wedge salad made with pork jowl and nam jim; the pork and beef diner smash burger with chilli and coriander; and a beef tartare which Yenbamroong has labelled an evolution on the Los Angeles original are signifiers of the approach; the menu will also include a pasta dish flavoured with nam plaa, similar to a staple of the early days of Night + Market’s repertoire. The dishes, as this is a London cave, will come with natural wines, 11 years after Yenbamroong pairing flavours in this way was brand new to Californian diners.
The menu’s freewheeling playfulness will be recognisable to fans of Yenbamroong Los Angeles restaurants, which for a time in the early and mid-2010s were some of the most sought-after in the U.S. The original Night + Market, next door to Yenbamroong parents’ restaurant, Talesai, started as what Eater critic Bill Addison described as a “jugular” Isaan counterpoint to its ancestor next door; it would take over the space in 2015, having given life to Night + Market Song — which would become an archetype of restaurant design, as well as nu-Thai cooking — in Silver Lake, the previous year.
This restaurant is part of Hoxton owner Ennismore’s “studio” Carte Blanched, which also developed Seabird at its Southwark location, and Christina’s, the all-day space at the Curtain Hotel in Shoreditch.