It all started with Laz böreği.
It was not just any Laz böreği that showed up at the dinner party that evening, but perfect Laz böreği: layers of yufka (phyllo) buttery and moist, dusted with confectioner’s sugar, in a symbiotic balance with the custard, which was neither too sweet, nor too eggy, neither too runny, nor too stiff. Goldilocks would be proud. Juuuust right. And, it turns out, this stuff is addictive.
So that got me on the ferry and up the hill to Moda Caddesi in Kadıköy, on a pilgrimage to the source. And that is where I really got myself into trouble.
Bizim Ev is a storefront on one of the arcaded stretches of Moda Caddesi, tucked in between discount stores, karate studios, the best butcher in town and five million coiffeurs. Glowing and cozy, the place welcomes you with an immediate barrage of choices. And therein lies the problem. How to choose just one thing? Turns out, I am incapable of this.
So. In addition to the Laz böreği mentioned already, they do an amazing savory börek stuffed with roasted eggplant (közlenmiş patlıcan muska böreği), and a daily selection of other savory böreks. Again, perfect yufka, perfect fillings, perfect börek. My greatest weakness at Bizim Ev, though, is an item best described as When Veggie Quiche Met Ev Poğaca. A baked batter that falls somewhere on the eggier side of biscuit holds together a cornucopia of vegetables (usually potato, red pepper, onion, zucchini) laced generously with fresh dill. Irresistible. And there is still so much more to choose from: cookies, cakes (the sour cherry cake, ooooh the sour cherry cake), baklava…and then there are the zeytinyağlı dishes. Bizim Ev manages to rock the baked goods AND to roll out an impressive variety of cold appetizer classics, all made daily from the best ingredients, and all delicious enough to impress even the most stubborn zeytinyağlı snob.
Although Bizim Ev is primarily a takeaway type of operation, they do have a few tables, inside and out. If I am in a social and sharing mood, I will sometimes pick up some goodies to bring with me when meeting up with friends at the nearby (and lovely) Moda tea gardens – those guys never raise a fuss over BYO snacks.
I do not joke when I say that I am incapable of picking just one thing, but I suspect I am not the only one, as owners Nezahat Hanım and Ali Bey never bat an eye when I look shifty, clutch at my pearls and let out the clarion call of a closeted addict: “Oh, and maybe just a few of those, too…” So go ahead, do not be shy, try it all. Everything at Bizim Ev is outstanding. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Address: Moda Caddesi 95/A, Moda