Peckham boy Mustapha Ertan calls himself a born and bred in south London Turkish-Cypriot cockney, and he specialises in providing “the best breakfast in Brixton”.
Mustapha takes great pride in his background and in his cooking, which are plus points, as he is the man behind Duck Egg, his brainchild that is currently based in the Prince of Wales.
I was brunching with the News’ Michelle G who has the impressive title of Print and Digital Consultant as well as an impressive knowledge of food.
Before we began our mid-afternoon meal Mustapha gave us the rundown on how he sources all his produce to ensure he gets the best quality.
His vegetables come from the oldest trader in Brixton Market, Terry, who has held out while all others were moved aside by change; and meats from the butcher who also survived the famous market’s controversial transition.
The free range duck eggs, with which Mustapha has cut out his own niche in SW9, come from Norfolk.
While we chatted, a round of drinks was in order. Michelle went for a Rum and Ting, a powerful concoction that I thought could get rockets on the moon, and I had a VPA, a good pale ale with citrus notes.
After a while we agreed that Mustapha would cook me a couple of dishes so I could sample a selection, and a Jerk Chicken Salad ‘with extra avocado’ for my colleague. The Prince of Wales is a big pub.
So big it has a nightclub upstairs, plus a secret bar and a roof terrace. So big it has a door in Brixton Road and a main entrance in Coldharbour Lane!
It gets extremely busy at weekends but on this Wednesday afternoon it was quite calm. Our food arrived. The salad looked very chunky and very fresh, and a simple dressing of red wine vinegar and olive oil took it to another level.
Michelle said the chicken could have been a little spicier so the Peckham boy promised to add a couple more Scotch Bonnets to the next Jerk mix.
My surprise dish was Eggs Benedict, with Smoked Bacon (‘Smoked is better for flavour and for cooking’), and Eggs Royale, with Scottish Smoked Salmon.
As I tucked in Mustapha was telling me how he makes the Hollandaise Sauce, and how he poaches the duck eggs in white wine vinegar, and the running commentary made the whole eating experience a little bit more special.
And, of course, there is the ritual of cutting gently into the egg to let the yolk ooze out, which was a winner too.
Using top quality produce is reflected in the taste.
Duck Egg @POW provides an excellent breakfast and brunch under the guidance of Mustapha Ertan, and in the coming weeks he will be serving up authentic Thai food on selected evenings, so watch out for that.
The Duck Egg at POW The Prince of Wales,
467 Brixton Road (Entrance in Coldharbour Lane)
0207 095 1978