A would-be robber who had chilli thrown in his face as he tried to rob a fast food store in Sydney's south has faced court.

Tyrone Holmwood appeared in the dock at Waverley Local Court with red eyes and a police issue jumpsuit.

He is accused of trying to steal from the Ole Portuguese Chicken Shop at Rosebery last night.

But his alleged attempt to take from the till was thwarted when a shop assistant threw hot chilli sauce in his eyes.

He was treated for burns and arrested at the scene.

Supported by his father, the 24-year-old made a brief appearance in court today.

The magistrate denied bail citing a strong prosecution case and the accused's failure to appear at previous court matters.

Meanwhile, the shop assistant who flung the chillies at the man has recounted the experience.

Joanna Darnoski says she challenged the man after he allegedly assaulted her and tried to steal money.

The 27-year-old Brazilian woman says she felt she had no choice but to act.

"I didn't think twice. I just wanted to protect myself," she said.

"I threw all the chilli on his face and then he got crazy because of that.

"And then I [made] him sit down and I said 'just wait now because the police are arriving'."

 

Advertisement