LDNReview

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Mystic Burek image
8.5

Best New Restaurants

2023

Mystic Burek

Balkan

Sydenham

$$$$Perfect For:BYOBCasual Weeknight DinnerCatching Up With MatesCheap EatsDining SoloLunchQuick EatsWalk-InsTakeaway
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There is something about Mystic Burek, a Balkan spot in Sydenham, that makes you feel like Shania Twain has just drawled, “let’s go girls”. The gaggle of warm staff who sing along to the pop anthems playlist, the hulking slices of excellent burek served on silver trays with pink parchment, and the granny-core aesthetic are all designed to make you feel like the hot slice you’ve just been served. Come for a pick-me-up or come to gossip about your partner—we’re almost certain the staff and other diners would pull up a hard, foldable red chair and tell you “they aren’t worth it” while feeding you more pie. 

Mystic Burek image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Mystic Burek image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Mystic Burek image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Mystic Burek image
Mystic Burek image
Mystic Burek image

Mystic Burek has a touch of your best friend’s place about it—the one with a total commitment to a red and pink colour scheme and an open-door policy. Lingering chats are held over the counter while collecting orders to go and during the week, early birds slump into the seats with the familiarity of someone dropping into their childhood mate’s sofa. It’s a spot where pies are eaten unselfconsciously and noses become speckled with parmesan as they burrow deep into slices. 

Mystic Burek image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Mystic Burek image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Mystic Burek image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Mystic Burek image
Mystic Burek image
Mystic Burek image

Come evening, grab a bottle from nearby shop 161 Food+Drink, and slosh wine into glasses while female power anthems play. The blackboard menu is short but sweet: a rotating line-up of several burek slices with fillings that change weekly, and a baklava bun for dessert. Once moreish sour cherry buns have been dispatched, hands wander into the open shelves of the snack cupboard that sits in the dining room, with the greedy grabbiness of small children hunting for chocolate and crisps. 

Mystic Burek image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Mystic Burek image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

A pink (naturally) sign on the wall declares that “the best way to eat burek is with your hands”. Cutlery will only slow you down anyway. Fillings change often, but the lamb, with a meaty, rosemary gravy for dipping, has taken Holy Grail status in our minds. Each slice comes with a generous scattering of parmesan sprinkled on top, and the layers of filo are light and crispy. As we go face-first into a second pie, Shania Twain starts playing in our heads again, and we drift off into our happy place.

Food Rundown

Mystic Burek image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Lamb & Ghee Potatoes With Dipping Gravy

This is like the best roast lamb sandwiched between sheets of filo, with a genius dipping gravy that we gave up dipping and poured all over each bite. The meat is soft, the potatoes are a welcome extra carb to soak up the sauce, and one slice is plenty for a big lunch or a light-ish dinner.
Mystic Burek image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Gorgonzola Dolce, Squash Jam & Pomegranate Onions

This slice achieves the kind of balance we’ve been looking for with our downward facing dog, but have never found. Sweet, salty, tangy—all of the things the cookbooks tell you about—it’s all in this pie. Caramelised onions and a schmear of nutty, jammy butternut squash plays well with the blobs of gorgonzola.
Mystic Burek image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Bulgarian Sheep’s Cheese, Noktec & Grilled Peppers

A bite that will have you thanking Bulgarian sheep for their service. We like the slightly charred, bitter peppers against the tangy, creamy cheese. Like all the slices here, no notes.
Mystic Burek image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Creamed Spinach, Parmesan, Potato & Kurdish Chilli

Their classic pie, the staple, the one that proves simple is sometimes better. We like this one best dunked in a healthy amount of hot ajvar oil, or dredged through the creamy roasted garlic and sesame dip. It’s made all the more wholesome when paired with their £1 “cuppa tea”.
Mystic Burek image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Sour Cherry Baklava Bun

You won’t have much space left after eating a pie here, but push through or plan for these buns. The texture is a pleasing mix of chewy but light and it’s topped with a slightly sour, tangy cream, with cherries that stain the pastry red and add nice fruity pops throughout.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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