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Top 35 recipes of 2016

2016 was all about slow-roasting, fresh pasta and comfort food. These are the recipes you clicked on most this year, counting back to number one.

Christmas vegetarian recipes

The versatility of vegetarian dishes means they can be served alongside meat and seafood, or enjoyed simply as they are. With Christmas just around the corner, we’ve put together some of our favourite vegetarian recipes to appease both herbivores and carnivores alike.

Decadent chocolate dessert recipes for Christmas

13 of our most decadent chocolate recipes to indulge guests with this Christmas.

Best travel destinations in 2017

We're thinking big for travelling in 2017 - and so should you. Will we see you sunrise at Java's 9th-century Borobudur Buddhist temple, across the table at Reykjavik's newest restaurants or swimming side-by-side with humpback whales off Western Australia's coast?

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

What the GT team is cooking on Christmas Day

We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.

Summer feta recipes

Whether in a fresh salad or seasonal seafood dish, feta's creamy tang can be used to add interest to a variety of summer dishes.

Christmas ham recipes

The centrepiece of any Christmas feast, hams can be glazed with many ingredients. Here are our favourite combinations.

Hot Plate: Face2Face Noodles, Sydney

Spicy Sichuan broth noodles and Chinese sausage

Spicy Sichuan broth noodles and Chinese sausage

Chinatown's new spicy Chongqing-styled noodle bar is complete with Sichuan broths and free noodle refills.

The turn of the season and the arrival of genuinely cooler weather means our thoughts turn, naturally, not to fireplaces and cocoa, mulled wine and the State of Origin, but spicy noodles. And there's no spicy noodle we want more right now than the mian tiao at Face2Face, a new arrival to Dixon House, one of the more rough-and-tumble basement food halls in Sydney's Chinatown.

The specialty here is noodle soups done in the style of Chongqing, the city of 30 million that seceded from Sichuan province to become a province in its own right in 1997. The noodles are made in-house with wheat, cut fine, and offered in three ways: dry, in a clear chicken stock, or, the main event, in a spicy Sichuan broth.

The dry noodles are very good even in their plainest form, dressed (relatively) simply with preserved vegetables, bok choy, spring onions, coriander, chilli, sesame and peanuts. The soups are similarly complete, roiling with chilli oil and Sichuan pepper, but there is much to be said for the choice of toppings: five-spice pork ribs, firm nubs of braised beef, gooey beef tendon, barnyardy braised pork intestines, bouncy sliced chicken giblets with pickles, or the chickpeas and minced pork, an option that has eluded us thus far because (a) it's made in such small quantities, (b) is so popular, or (c) both.

(Robust appetites take note: we've not found it necessary yet but an extra serve of noodles is free for the asking when you eat in-house.)

Accessories include soy eggs for $1.50, extra greens for $1 and some of the sides are also very much worth investigating, not least the fresh smoky pork sausage, even fizzier with Sichuan pepper than the soups. Face2Face does a brisk trade, too, in cold poached chicken feet, boxed-up with green chillies to go.

A word of warning: because the noodles are produced fresh each day, the kitchen can get overwhelmed, and often sells out of the signatures mid-service. Get in early to make the most of it.

Face2Face Noodles, Dixon House food court, Little Hay St (between Dixon and Sussex sts), Sydney, NSW.

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