Billionaire gets to grips with some of the best club sandwiches at the best hotels* in the world’s major cities, ranked by price converted into US dollars, in ascending order. All prices are inclusive of tax.
We also take into account freshness, ingredients, presentation, originality and sides & garnish. (For a definition and history of the club sandwich, click here.)
The disparity was surprising. While most club sandwiches at five-star hotels in our index hover around the US$25 range, the Widder Hotel in Zurich and the Ritz in London come in at a steep US$32, while the Plaza Athénée in Paris is the most expensive club sandwich in our index, priced at an eye-watering US$43.
According to our index, the club sandwiches in New World cities (Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai), tend to be more affordable than those in Old World cities (Paris, London, Zurich), while the ingredients and format are often more experimental in the Far East and Middle Eastern locations.
Over the course of the year, Billionaire will be adding club sandwiches from other cities and updating the index every quarter. If you have recently experienced an unmissable club sandwich and would like to tell us about it, please get in touch here.
The Upper House, Hong Kong
The Upper House turkey club sandwich is unusual on account of its mayonnaise. It’s spicy — made with cayenne pepper, and paprika. It adds a delightful twist to the classic recipe, which is followed closely in The Upper House’s version of the club. Here we have four perfectly symmetrical triangles of multi-grain toast, crispy bacon, juicy turkey, firm tomato, crunchy romaine lettuce and avocado, all pinned together with a bamboo cocktail stick. The avocado is somewhat controversial — chef Gray Kunz decided to forgo the egg that is sometimes used, and the inclusion of avocado makes for a moister and, dare we say it, classier, mouthful. On the side are perfectly fried, salt-studded chips (not shoestring fries), a dainty orb of coleslaw and a decent helping of ketchup. For a club sandwich, it’s decidedly elegant.
Fullerton Hotel, Singapore
The Fullerton club sandwich veers away from the original recipe — instead of sliced turkey, it features grilled chicken; in place of mayonnaise, it has aioli; and it also features avocado and fried egg. Decent servings of streaky bacon, tomato and lettuce are sandwiched between toasted white bread. The Fullerton serves the club with a side of mesclun salad and fries. Overall, the sandwich has the right amount of contrasting textures and flavours. And, like any decent club sandwich, it doesn’t come served with a soggy bottom — even Mary Berry would be pleased. The use of chicken gives the club sandwich a firmer bite that contrasts nicely with the streaky bacon and, when paired with the vegetables, gives a fresh mouthful. Our thoughts on the added avocado? It gives a light creamy flavour that balances the sandwich and complements the aioli.
New York Park Hyatt
This club comes with American-style (read: hugely generous) helpings of turkey, crispy bacon, juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, gherkins and ranch-style dressing. If you’re not American and therefore potentially not a fan of ranch dressing, it is possible to get it with good old-fashioned ketchup or mayonnaise instead. The bread is classic toasted brown and the fries are crispy and cut in a thin French style rather than fat wedges. The sandwich itself is jaw-dislocatingly wide.
Jumeirah Beach, Dubai
If club sandwiches had jobs, this one would be a supermodel. Shunning the traditional triangular shape, Four Seasons Jumeirah’s offering is cut into three rectangles of crustlessly sleek, grill-toasted perfection. The fact that it is grilled in a panini toaster means it is slimmer then usual, which means you don’t have to unhinge your jaw to fit it in. Juicy sliced turkey; smoky beef bacon and fried egg; tomato jam as a moistener; and just a few shreds of tomato lettuce — this is a sandwich where less is definitely more. The real star of the show is the chips. Advertised on the menu as ‘french fries’, these four heavenly golden cuboids are so chunky they are almost as big as the sandwich itself.
Hotel, Zurich, Switzerland
The Widder Hotel in Zurich’s historic old town offers a club sandwich of quite gargantuan proportions. This megalithic snack comprises not three but five slices of well-toasted white bread, cut into two triangles. Layer by layer, we have tomatoes and shredded lettuce mixed with mayonnaise; followed by two fried eggs; another layer of mayo-lettuce; then a generous bottom layer of juicy chicken. A bamboo spike holds it together, on which is skewered a black olive and a rasher of very crisp bacon. This is served with a yet-larger bowl of piping-hot chips, served with a bucket of ketchup and mayonnaise. For carb-lovers with a large appetite, it’s pure heaven.
This double-decker, square-cut sandwich comes with a choice of either white or brown bread. Lightly toasted, it holds all the old-fashioned ingredients of a great club — sliced tender chicken, crunchy lettuce, sweet tomatoes. But instead of using fried and oily bacon, smoked-to-perfection back bacon adds a slightly richer flavour overall, and eggs are hard-boiled, not fried. Smashed avocado and a light lemon mayonnaise show up smeared in between decks, well-proportioned without overpowering. Additionally, French fries in a classy silver cone are served on the side. While you’re at it, choose some tea from the extensive menu, ideally a fresh pot of Ritz Royal English to wash your sandwich down with.
Classic club: US$43
Lobster club: US$56
Ordering a club sandwich here comes with an unwritten rule: it can be prepared to the customer’s absolute liking. The sandwiches are presented with three little side cups of homemade mayonnaise, crisps and a side salad. The side salad is a surprise: a bundle of greenness composed of 15 different kinds of hand-picked salad leaves. Peppery and crisp, fresh and diverse, the salad is a strong contender to traditional crisps. The club itself is toasted and moist, and the ingredients easy to cut through: the textures of the avocado and the lobster meat are sweet and buttery, but the seasoning could be enhanced for the vegetarian option or played down for the lobster club.
*judged from internet sources including Trip Advisor, The Telegraph Travel site, Time Out and CN Traveller.