First up, we headed to Pranah to try some of their signature ginger hot milk I'd heard so much about from Millie over at Gusty Gourmet.
Very simply presented but utterly fulfilling in flavour, each sip of the heady milk is infused with a high dose of the ginger spice, thoroughly warming you from the inside, out.
When we finally stepped through the doors of Monterey, we were instantly relaxed. The Creole style atmosphere with the art slathered walls and miniature library take you back in time to a speakeasy era and the novelty touches of menus displayed in the introductory pages of literary classics and napkins served in sardine cans fit the theme to perfection.
As we arrived well in advance of the actual opening time of the diner/ bar, we were content to order drinks while the kitchen fired up.My choice was the Spiced Cocoa, because while I am a hot chocolate addict -a beverage also served at Monterey, the name of the drink sounded so irresistably warm and inviting that I couldn't pass it up.
When it arrived, I wasn't disappointed. A heavenly blend of chocolate and a spicy kick served with a Whittakers dark chocolate square , the Spiced Cocoa is certainly the grown up version of your standard hot chocolate.
By the time my Spiced Cocoa had been devoured, our meals had arrived.
Mama chose the Corn Fritters with basil pesto, salsa, summer slaw and rocket salad while I chose the Haloumi and Onion Ring burger with barbeque sauce, coriander mayo and cajun fries.
Mama's 'keep your eyes on your fries' approach to dining meant that the delectable cajun fries didn't last long but the burger was by far the crowning glory of this cosy diner.
The texture of the haloumi cheese coupled with the crackle and crunch of the onion rings and the fresh, crisp rocket and tomato were the perfect base for the unusual sauce and overall made a burger unlike anything I'd ever tasted.
I'll absolutely be back to Monterey especially after noticing they serve a haloumi french toast and an American favourite - cherry pie!.
Head over to Monterey on Rintoul Street in Newtown for their impeccable taste in music and an array of true southern style comfort food.