Police were called and roads were closed when locals reported an over-powering smell in the Soho district which is popular with people for eating out and night life.
A Hazardous Area Response Team was despatched to the area, where they smashed down the door to the Thai Cottage restaurant only to find chef Chalemchai Tangjariyapoon making his signature chilli sauce.
He said: "I was making my nam prik pao spicy dip with extra-hot chillis that are deliberately burnt. To us, it smells like burnt chilli and it is slightly unusual. I can understand why people who weren't Thai would not know what it was - but it doesn't smell like chemicals."