Another day, another supermarket showing off a shortage of originality alongside a surfeit of hypocrisy. Marks and Spencer, the pre-Waitrose holder of the “poshest supermarket in Britain” crown, has been criticised for ripping off Dishoom’s egg and bacon naan roll, one of the best-known and best-loved London restaurant dishes.
On Tuesday, the Marks and Spencer Instagram account posted a stylised shot of a naan with bacon, fried egg, chilli jam, and a smattering of chopped coriander. It’s a dead ringer for the Dishoom bacon and egg naan, one of the Irani cafe-inspired British-Indian chain’s signature dishes.
M&S did credit the London restaurant chain, saying that the supermarket’s in-house chef Chris Baber’s “ridiculously tasty brunch recipe” was “inspired” by Dishoom’s classic, but there’s almost nothing different — save for a little yoghurt.
Cue the brand banter back-and-forth on social media.
Dishoom’s own account responded to the M&S post with: “After weeks of sitting on the fence, we’ve finally decided we’re Team Cuthbert” — a reference to a recent legal squabble between M&S and supermarket rival Aldi, which had created a cake bearing an uncanny resemblance to an M&S classic, “Colin the Caterpillar.” Aldi had called it “Cutherbert the Caterpillar.”
Cutherbert “rides on the coat-tails” of M&S’ reputation, the supermarket claimed as it directed its lawyers to open an intellectual property rights claim in April.
Later, Dishoom either got busy on Photoshop or simply popped to the nearest M&S, before loading Percy Pigs (another famous M&S product) into naan with eggs and bacon; as well as adding a mop of green coriander hair to a Colin the Caterpillar cake. It was, Dishoom said, “inspired by Marks and Spencer,” having declared “imitation as the sincerest form of flattery...”
Cheers to the Admins, it’s not even August yet.