[Hotel Review] Little National Hotel Sydney (King Room): Convenient Location, Smart Design


Little National Hotel Sydney is the #1 top-rated hotel in Sydney at TripAdvisor. Newly opened in 2020, we read rave reviews about its modern smart design and prime location. Not knowing what to expect as it was our first trip post-COVID, we decided to stick to a safe choice and booked our stay at this hotel for our 5-day trip. 


Located right above the Wynyard Station and just minutes away from Bangaroo and the popular Circular Quay, we knew this was a great choice the moment we reached the hotel. Numerous cafes and restaurants are within walking distance, and Sydney's key tourist attractions were easily accessible by train. 

Lobby and Check-In

The check-in area is located on the second floor of the hotel. We checked in via the touch screen and it was a very seamless and fast experience. If you prefer the human touch, staff at the reception counter are always around to help.

Our card brought us directly to our room, and this feature made us feel safe in the hotel. 



Admittedly, a tap on the room card revealed a room that was smaller than expected. However, the efficient smart design made all the difference, and all the amenities we needed were available in that cosy space.  

All rooms are fitted with a King-sized bed. As the end of the bed was by the end of the wall, there may be issues for guests who are taller. Nonetheless, the bed and pillows were very comfortable. With good soundproofing in the room, we woke up refreshed every morning. 

The rooms was equipped with black-out blinds, high tech tablets, a built-in Bluetooth speaker system and multiple lighting options. 

Something we liked about the room's design was how the TV was closely fitted in front of the bed, and we could just lie down to watch a movie or two before sleeping - pure bliss! 

Apart from free-to-air TV channels, there were free movies available, and the selection was generous and covered various genres. We managed to catch about one movie per night, each night.

The wardrobe space was relatively small, but it was sufficient enough for us to hang up a few thick jackets and other key clothings which we brought for our 5-day trip.


The shower and toilet area all fitted very well into a small area - another example of great planning. The hotel offered quality bathroom products from Appelles too.

Rooftop Lounge, Library and Bar

Something we also liked about the hotel were the rooftop lounge, library and bar which looked really welcoming. The lounge offered complimentary T2 tea and coffee, and the disposable cups meant that we could bring the drinks back to our room - something we did every night. 

If a quiet, private workspace is required, the library offered unlimited WIFI, USB and power ports, as well as a wireless colour printer. 

The rooftop bar was modern and welcoming, and if we had friends in Sydney, we would definitely invite them up for drinks.


Overall, we loved Little National Hotel Sydney's great location, how modern, new and clean the hotel was, and were impressed by the efficient room/ bathroom layout. 

It offered everything that we needed for our 5D4N stay. The service was friendly throughout our stay too.

We would return, and highly recommend this hotel for short trips and even business stays. 

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[Review] Origin Mattress' Origin Superior Coolmax Latex Pillow

How a Good Pillow Should Be

A good pillow is one that supports the neck well, and we have found the right one in Origin Mattress' Origin Superior Coolmax Latex Pillow!

As part of our mattress purchase (another brand) for our new home, we were provided a pair of pillows but they proved to be rather rudimentary. It is easy to assess pillows' quality when you try them out for a night, and we clearly noticed how supportive the Origin Mattress' latex pillow was.

Latex Foam Material

Latex foams are denser than the usual run-of-the-mill ones. A latex pillow moulds to the shape of our head, offering the right level of sleep support. We learnt that latex is impression-resistant, so this pillow can also hold its shape for many years while still feeling soft.

Hypoallergenic Properties

In addition, latex is also extremely durable with hypoallergenic properties, so it is great for people with allergies for a worry-free relaxing sleep. 

Tencel™ Fabric Cover

This pillow came with a removable Tencel™ fabric cover, and this material is known for its natural comfort, environmentally responsible production process and it is much softer material compared to cotton. Hypoallergenic and lightweight, this material is ideal for warm weather climates like Singapore's.

New IG page: @AtHomeWithTheHedgehog

We just moved into our new home, and have been sharing about our renovation journey and tips. As our home is self-designed and done up through a contractor, we share about the good and blunders. Follow us on @AtHomeWithTheHedgehog to find out more!

This article is a collaboration with Origin Mattress. All views are mine unless otherwise stated.

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[Review] Sakura Afternoon Tea at Conrad Centennial Singapore

Over the Good Friday/ Easter long weekend, we enjoyed a delectable Sakura Afternoon Tea ($45++/ $49++ for weekdays/ weekends respectivelyat Conrad Centennial Singapore.

Sakura Afternoon Tea

Available from 14 March till 02 May 2022, the set consisted of with 4 savouries, 4 sweet treats and classic & raisin scones, with a choice of Brazilian Coffee and Ronnefeldt Tea

For a more indulgent experience, one could even top up S$20++ per person for unlimited Prosecco.

Welcome Drink

A refreshing Sakura Blossom Welcome Drink was served at the start of the session. It was a pleasant surprise, as we weren't expecting it.

Savoury Items

The savoury items consisted of Smoked Salmon with Avocado and Caviar on Toast, Egg Mayo with Caviar and Rose ButtermilkSakura Chicken on Tomato Bread and Sakura Brioche Skagen with Shrimp and Tobiko.


Sweet Treats

What really caught our attention were the various desserts which were simply a sight to behold: Red Velvet Sakura Mousse with Raspberry Jam, Sakura Cheesecake, Sakura Puff with Cherry Blossom Jelly, Sakura Tart with Strawberry Compote and Classic & Raisin Scones with Homemade Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream

Indeed, they were painstakingly handcrafted to bring out the delicate flavours of the pink cherry blossoms.


Overall, we really enjoyed the relaxing afternoon over the various cherry blossom-themed treats, and we would count the Sakura Puff with Cherry Blossom Jelly and Sakura Tart with Strawberry Compote as our favourites. 

The cosy ambience and attentive service made it a memorable experience, and we highly recommend this for girly and couple dates.

PS: Do look out for the signature Conrad bear aptly donned in Japanese kimono at the lobby!

Conrad Centennial Singapore
Lobby Lounge and The Terrace 
 2 Temasek Blvd, Singapore 038982

Sakura Afternoon Tea
Weekdays: $45++/ person
Weekends: $49++/ person 
2 seatings: 1pm – 3pm or 3:30pm – 5:30pm

Website: https://www.connoisseur.sg/dreamy-sakura-afternoon-tea/

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[Review] Fine Dining Cantonese Cuisine at Summer Pavilion

Recently, the hedgehog celebrated his birthday at Summer Pavilion, a fine dining restaurant that serves Cantonese cuisine at Ritz Carlton Singapore. 

We chose the "Peony" 5-course Dinner Set at S$128++ (excluding Chinese tea). Most dishes hit the right spot, and we highly recommend this set.


1) Appetiser

For starters, we had the Barbecued Iberico Pork with Honey Sauce and Wok-fried Prawn in Soy Sauce. The iberico was tender and juicy while the prawn was succulent and flavourful too. Standard stuff, albeit done to perfection.

2) Fish

The Poached Dong Xing Grouper Fillet with Fungus and Baby Cabbage in Fish Stock was the highlight of the evening. The fish was really fresh, so fresh I imagine it must have jumped out of the aquarium straight into the chef's piping hot pot. 

The delicate flesh was immaculately white as snow. And with that rich fish bone broth, in essence, it was simply divine. We have always been a fan of double boiled soups, because they have this profound calming effect, and gives you a sense of nourishment. Reminds us of the really delectable fish we had at the 3 Michelin starred Lung Kin Heen in Hong Kong about a decade ago.

3) Abalone

The Steamed Australian Abalone with Minced Garlic was outstandingly well executed too. Haven't had such a juicy, succulent and flavourful abalone in a long time. Every bite was bliss. The only abalone that compares to this would be the Tasmanian abalone we had at Waku Ghin some years back.

4) Beef

The next dish was the Pan-fried Japanese Wagyu Beef with Steamed Glutinous Rice and Scallion. The robust flavours from the Japanese wagyu harmonized well with the more subdued taste of the glutinous rice, which was charmingly delectable without overpowering the taste of the wagyu.

5) Dessert

For desserts, we chose two dishes: Chilled Peach Gum with Pear and Osmanthus and Herbal Jelly.

If there is anything to be unhappy about, it is probably the dessert. Compared to the mains, the desserts seemed more like the chef's afterthought. I mean, at this price point, one would expect better. Not that it's bad, but it just feels like not much effort has been put into the dessert compared to the other courses. And it's not like you cannot find herbal jelly and peach gum from any regular restaurant these days. Or even at Colony downstairs. Buffet quality desserts certainly don't belong to fine dining establishments. This is rudimentary stuff. If you are looking for good Cantonese dessert, we highly recommend Cherry Garden.


Overall, we enjoyed this set very much. There was no filler and every dish pulled is weight except for the desserts which felt a tad underwhelming.

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore 
7 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039799

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[Review] La Dame de Pic: French Haute Cuisine at Raffles Hotel

Restaurant Andre, Guy Savoy, Joel Robuchon, Jaan, Les Amis, Odette, Saint Pierre. We are sure these dining establishments need no introduction to those of you who have been following the dining scene in Singapore over the years. They are the quintessential juggernauts of the French fine dining industry.

Background of French Dining Scene in Singapore

For those who are unacquainted with the abovementioned names, the short story is that some of these restaurants helmed by the protégé's of some of the most highly acclaimed and esteemed chefs in the industry, had to close their doors after just opening for a few years. And we at the hedgehogknows, as you can probably guess, are huge admirers of French haute cuisine. Such news was a bit of a downer for those who love French gastronomy.

We are not sure if you recall those days when Chef Andre and Julien Royer were helming Jaan before they decided to venture on their own. Or when Joel Robuchon restaurant and L'atelier de Joel Robuchon restaurant opened at Sentosa near Universal Studios. Those days were the renaissance of French cuisine in Singapore, representing the pinnacle of excellence of French food. The hedgehog was there, and those were his first forays into appreciating what the French had to offer, and shaped the hedgehog's worldview of just how good food can be.

The Demand Today for French Fine Dining

So we were left wondering whether there was still a market for French fine dining in Singapore.  After all, spending 3 hours on a meal is a luxury, and not only does a potential diner need time, its not exactly wallet friendly for most people either, and that in itself creates a barrier to entry. I mean, it's not like you need very deep pockets, its all relative for that matter, but the desire for such an affair with food all boils down to an individual's perception of value and your disposable income.

Not to mention the profound uncertainty brought about by COVID-19, and you wonder whether these so called "atas" restaurants would be able to rebrand themselves and adapt to the changing times like how Swiss luxury watch makers respond to the wave of highly precise quartz watches flooding the market.

Well, we at the hedgehogknows, have good news for those of you who love French gastronomy.

La Dame de Pic at Raffles Hotel

Recently, the hedgehog dined at the new kid on the block, La Dame de Pic, and we are more than happy to share with you our verdict on the food here.

The truth is, La Dame de Pic, isn't exactly new. They opened their doors in late 2019 and we are sure you know what happened towards the end of 2019. So you can consider the hedgehog a li'l late to the party.

But as cliche as it sounds, better late than never, so here's our narrative :)

First Impressions

As the hedgehog stepped into the restaurant, he was greeted by high ceilings and a classy chic interior that suggests minimalism juxtaposed with classy elegance and sophistication. Nothing too over the top and you are made to feel at home with those comfy leather seats. Starting to get good vibes about this.

Btw, did you know that La Dame de Pic is a play on Anne Sophie Pic, the chef-restauranteur’s family name which translates to "queen of spades"? No wonder we spotted a gold chandelier with spades taking centrestage in the restaurant.

This is markedly in contrast to the opulence and grandeur at Joel Robuchon restaurant and the likes of Restaurant Le Meurice in Paris, as we recall.

Hors d'oeuvres

The thing about the French is that they always like to surprise you with stuff that you didn't order.  Well, anything that's complimentary can't be a bad thing right?

We were first served with a beautiful, colourful platter of hors d'oeuvres which left a really good impression. And that opening act was complimentary from the chef.

The Sake Pu-er Yuzu Orange Blossom Bon Bons coated with cocoa butter shells. Think ang moh xiao long baos where the first bite sends you to heaven as you experience a burst of myriad flavours in your mouth ranging from sweet to sour. In essence, its a chocolate bon bon with yuzu lah, if you minus the fancy names.

We were also served Scallop Tartare on Matcha Tart. Again, we loved the diverse flavours, with subtle hints of wasabi and matcha.

The other two dishes were interesting adaptations of our quintessential Singaporean dishes: Kueh Pie Tee with Cardamon, Cognac and Yoghurt, topped with Prawn and Honeycomb Crackers with Lemon and Nori Seaweed Gels. The variety of premium ingredients made this a very delicious, indulgent Asian inspired treat.

Amuse Bouche

For the amuse bouche, we had Madai Fish infused with Salted Cucumber and Lemon Balm.  Refreshing stuff and the flowery presentation was visually appealing too.


Next, we were finally served the bread:  Turmeric Black Sesame Brioche, Sourdough and Beer Baguette. While most diners may find the brioche rather interesting, considering the unique ingredients used and Chef Sophie's affinity for incorporating French gourmet food with Asian spices, the hedgehog's favourite was actually the classic French beer baguette.

Somehow it tasted better than the your typical traditional French baguette - crusty with a nice shade of brown on the outside, buttery soft and chewy on the inside. Not an expert on bread and maybe a baguette maestro could enlighten us, but we suspect it could be how the beer reacts with the dough during the fermentation process that gives it this complex flavour and great taste. The rose petals, madagascan peppercorn butter perhaps enhanced the taste of the baguette.


For the first course we had the Tuna from Nagasaki, paired with beetroot in different textures and tasmanian pepper ice cream. Loved the exotic flavours, especially the ice cream.

Baby Salsify from Touraine, cooked "a la plancha" with honey and juniper roselle and bourbon, point coffee sabayon. In case you are wondering, a salsify is actually a winter vegetable much like a parsnip.  If you are familiar with dandelions, then yes they belong to the dandelion family.

We thought this dish was rather underwhelming actually. It has a delicate, creamy, aromatic taste but we felt that the infusion of coffee felt a tad contrived, like some dissonant sound in a beautiful symphony.  But your mileage may vary.  As they say, different strokes for different folks.


For the mains, we had the Organic Welsh Lamb with Jerusalem Artichoke and Mezcal, infused with lamb jus. In our humble opinion, this was our favourite dish of the entire menu and it stole the show here. 

We were offered different cuts, such as the lamb rack and lamb saddle, but you heard from us, the lamb rack was simply divine. This was by far the best lamb rack we have tasted, even more sublime than some of the fine dining restaurants in New Zealand we went to. Juicy, tender, succulent and with intense flavours, the lamb rack was just gobsmackingly delicious and melt-in-your-mouth. What an indulgent, guilty pleasure.

The other main course was the Matcha Gnocchi (or berlingots from what we hear) served with barbecued lobster claw, herb coulis, lobster bisque infused with yuzu. This was alright, but we've certainly had better lobster bisque elsewhere. Fleur de sel and Gordon Grill immediately come to mind. 

In any case, the addition of matcha is a nice touch though, but nothing mind blowing or out of this world. In fact, we thought the matcha seemed to obfuscate the taste of the lobster and it did not synergise well overall with the rest of the dish. Perhaps the hedgehog is used to French classic cooking that focuses more on subtle and refined tastes, so that in-your-face matcha felt rather out of place in this dish. We heard this was a signature dish but somehow it did not hit all the high notes for us.


For the pre-dessert, we were seduced with a Cheesecake with Rice Cracker and some some yuzu. Very light and refreshing after all those main courses. This wasn't in the menu either and it was complimentary from the chef.


For dessert, we relished the Illanka Chocolate consisting of Sobacha chocolate mousse, with chocolate and dill ice cream; and Chestnut and Calamansi made of Kaffir lime cremeux, sudachi calamansi confit and chestnut ice cream.

Both desserts were tantalizingly enthralling with lots of subtle notes that harmonize well with each other, and the best part was that it doesn't feel too decadent or extravagant on the palette.  Presentation wise, its like an elegant, immaculate work of art that you would expect no less from a fine dining restaurant of this calibre. 

The hedgehog was offered a complimentary cake with petit fours and mignardises too. 


Overall, we genuinely enjoyed our time here at La Dame de Pic. Special mention goes to the bespoke service staff who were patient in allowing us to do our Instagram shots.

It's certainly worth a recommendation, especially if you are a Francophile foodie.

La Dame de Pic, Raffles Singapore
1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673

Website: https://www.rafflessingapore.com/restaurant/la-dame-de-pic/

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