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Inspiration • July 2014

The Club Sandwich

Ross Shonhan


Australian Ross Shonhan was head chef at London’s Zuma before opening his own ramen bar, Bone Daddies. He tells The Club why the Club Sandwich is so much more than a hotel-room snack and how he would give it his own Korean makeover, complete with kimchee mayonnaise

After a big night out with friends in Brisbane, where I grew up, I never went to McDonald’s or kebab shops for a 4am food fix. Instead, I’d leave my mates queuing outside those greasy holes and go to a 24-hour casino to order a Club Sandwich.

The Club Sandwich – or a ‘Clubbie’ as I call it – is a beautiful thing because there isn’t a bad time for one. It works for brunch, it works for a hangover and it even works for a lazy dinner. And because it’s a please-all sandwich, it ends up on so many room-service and bar menus around the world. But I think it deserves better than to just be thought of as a hotel-room snack.

Despite having made hundreds of them while working at The Dorchester, I never got sick of eating them. But I have seen some bad ones too. When I worked at Asia de Cuba at St Martins Lane hotel, the venue’s Italian restaurant made a mess of the Club Sandwich. They mixed the mayo and lettuce together, then put the whole sandwich in the toaster. I remember thinking, “Why do you do it that way?”

My guilty pleasure food is fried chicken, so I’ve given my Korean Clubbie a twist with crispy, fried guinea foul and a spicy kimchee mayo. And it has to have the middle layer of bread – it separates the components and almost gives you the pleasure of banging two different sandwiches together.


Eastern promise: Ross gives the ‘Clubbie’ a Korean twist with kimchee mayonnaise

The Korean Club Sandwich

Half cup rapeseed oil

1 guinea fowl thigh (boneless and beaten out a little)

3 slices whole grain bread

1 tbsp kimchee mayonnaise*

4 rashers smoked streaky bacon

2 iceberg lettuce leaves

1 tomato, sliced

Half avocado, diced   

1 hard-boiled egg, sliced

Kimchee to serve on the side, optional                   

1. Heat the oil in a pan and shallow fry the guinea fowl. Leave to rest.

2. Toast each slice of bread on one side, and spread two of the slices with the kimchee mayo on the untoasted sides.

3. Grill the bacon, turning halfway, until crisp.

4. Layer on the lettuce, tomato and bacon, then top with another slice of bread. Add the fried guinea fowl, avocado and the egg. Finish with the final slice of bread and cut in half. Secure with teppo gushi (gun shaped skewers from Japan) and serve with kimchee.

*To make the mayonnaise, mix 140g roasted red chillies with 40g garlic, 500g mayonnaise, 50g lime juice, 30g Sriracha sauce (or any hot chilli sauce), 10g chilli oil and 100g kimchee (pureed).

What do you think of Ross’s Korean twist on the Club Sandwich? Have you come across a better one on your travels? Email us for a chance to be featured in a future issue

This article has been tagged Food + Drink, Opinion