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Bafetto opened last May in Şaşkınbakkal with the ambitious slogan ‘Best pizza in town’. The raw wood tables and benches are part American diner, part buffet – which is where ‘Bafetto’ comes from, owner Burak Sümer tells us. Sümer focused the experience he gained in Ankara’s Tadım Pizza into serving good quality, reasonably priced pizza in as simple a venue as he could. The result is a success.
Except for a few salads and desserts, all you’ll find at Bafetto is pizza. The secret here is the dough, made with a special Italian recipe and made to sit for 48 hours. The idea, Sümer says, is to let the yeast settle in for a final dish that’s as light as is possible – an entire pizza, as a result, has only 90 grams of flour. Despite having been open for only a short while, Bafetto’s already welcomed some regulars, evidenced by a wall covered in compliments on Post-Its.
According to Sümer, another reason behind this success is that everyone who works here knows how to make pizza, which helps the eatery retain consistency, as you eat the same quality pizza each time you visit. The most important factor here, we learn, is that the pizza is baked in a special oven using a stone-tiled conveyor belt, whose patent Bafetto is in the process of acquiring. We first try Bafetto’s summertime special, the watermelon-cheese pizza (14.90 TL). We, too, are sceptical at first, but the combination of halloumi cheese, crispy pizza dough and cold, de-seeded watermelon slices leaves us enthralled. We then move on to classic flavours: the fresh pizza (12.90 TL), with plenty of tomato sauce and mozzarella (surprising given how light it is), and the filling New York pizza with veal ham and mushrooms. Yet there’s another item on Bafetto’s menu to make both these options seem rather ordinary: the Bafetto pizza (17.90 TL), topped with hummus and spicy paste, destined to become a classic.
Each item off the short list of desserts (6 TL) comes served in a glass mug. You could opt for the ubiquitous tiramisu and cheesecake, but we recommend trying the lordut (a blend of curd cheese and black mulberries) inspired by Juno in Nişantaşı or, better yet, the tastiest lemon sorbet we’ve eaten this summer. Bafetto also offers rosé, white and red wine, as well as mojito, sangria (9 TL) and beer, by the glass. They’re even planning to host ‘sangria hour’ events soon, so keep an eye out.