With a fast-paced working culture and a city that never sleeps, food you can eat on the go is immensely popular – and the reason why sandwich restaurants are dime a dozen in Singapore.
It’s thus a breath of fresh air to see one that’s clearly trying to go against the norm, albeit with familiar influences in their dishes. Located within the quieter sister of the two Somerset-named malls, 111 Somerset, the striking red hue of REBEL’s interior coupled with eye-catching murals of their mascot Rebel Gurl clearly shows how they aim to stand out from the crowd. And with a motto like ‘Normal is Boring’, you can be sure they aren’t your typical sandwich joint.
Their offerings certainly piqued our interest when we headed down for a tasting a few days before their opening. Taking inspiration from traditional Vietnamese banh mi with the use of pickled relish and coriander leaf in a baguette, REBEL puts together distinct Singapore flavours in its 15 offerings. While the usual style that local patrons know and love is still available in the Trad (traditional style chicken Cha Lua, chicken ham, pate), it’s the unique ones that most definitely steal the show.
Take the H.A.L.T. – an acronym for its ingredients of chicken ham, avocado salsa, lettuce and tomato – for example: the creamy avocado with its tinge of sour salsa elevates the otherwise normal ham to a whole new level. Although portions are generous, the avocado salsa tends to fall out when you take a big bite so we reckon eating in is the key.
Also of note are their vegan varieties, which are made in collaboration with eco-friendly protein producers Quorn. The meat-free patties used in the sandwiches are pleasantly realistic, with our favourite being the Pure – Quorn’s spicy patties coupled with decidedly Singaporean tempeh (fermented soy cake), sandwiched between the fluffy insides of their in-house bread.
Working together with local labels is also part of REBEL’s brand ethos. Quorn is just one of REBEL’s several boutique partners; local coffee roasters QOMUNE will also be offering up their brews for the morning cuppa, while meat is provided by premium halal certified meat brand Zac Meat. Even its packaging is meticulously selected to be environmentally friendly, in a bid to go plastic-free – PACKADZ uses biodegradable, recycled, unbleached or non-PVC lined papers to reduce their environmental footprint.
REBEL is located at 111 Somerset #01-08, Singapore 238164.