Oh dear; perhaps there ought to be a leaflet distributed to all households warning them of places such as this.
For the record, the members of the Indian diaspora I've come across swear by the following:
1. Bengal Clipper, Shad Thames: As the name suggests, this is the place to go for good Bengali food. It also has a good selection of Goan fish dishes. They do takeaway, but do not deliver.
2. Cafe Spice Namaste, Prescot Street (over the bridge, in Tower Hamlets). This place is run by the legendary Cyrus Todiwallah, a man with more awards than an Irish Eurovision Song Contest winner. It serves Goan and Parsi food (Bombay specialities such as Dhansak and patrani machli). They do takeaway, and delivery through the Room Service company.
Ah, there's that word: "pricey". That's the price you pay for proper authentic Indian food.
I suspect that Tower Tandoori is cheap, and all their food tastes the same, because they make one generic "batch sauce", into which they add their generic ingredients.
What's the difference between a Chicken Jalfrezi and a Chicken Vindaloo? Just add three more teaspoons of chilli-powder to the latter, my dear.
Too many people have become accustomed to the stereotypical image of Indian food as £3.99 "Balti"-type places.
You may be interested to know that the Bengal Clipper offer a Sunday buffet for £7.99 per head. Now that's cheap, surely?
I was thinking of a lovely indian I had there a couple of weeks ago where it cost us about £30 a head. The same amount and quality of 'proper authentic Indian food' from Spice Lounge (see above) would be significantly less than that and just as authentic.
I agree that Bengal Clipper is lovely, but it is strictly for special occasions only - not a regular weekend take away!
I have had many takeaways from the Bermondsey Tandoori, Jamaica Rd. 0207 231 7770. Never dissapointed so far.
They also offer a free side dish with orders over a tenner......MMmmmmmm want a curry now!!
Bengal Clipper also do a special set meal for a tenner (but you have to ask for the special menus). The money saved here will let you dip a bit deeper into your pocket when looking at their wine list (I remember a surprisingly good SA wine from last time that any of you City boys would consider obscenely cheap)
It really is another level of Indian food, and I'd thoroughly recommend it. However, it is a bit on the posh side for (what I consider) everyday dining.
However, for the budget option I'd go out of SE1 (sacrilege I know) and find your own personal favourite on Tooting's "Curry Mile" (just about the only place where I'd actively ask to go to a vegetarian restaurant because there are some seriously good ones and often they are the ones with the most exciting food). I've got my favourites, but my friends (years of collective residence in SW whatever between them) all seem to disagree and have their own faves (each different from the others, but all good).
Tayyab's on Fieldgate St, E1 (Whitechapel tube) is just over Tower Bridge and to my mind it's the best Indian in London. Amazing tandoori fish, excellent range of flavours (rather than default 'curry') and always impossible to spend over about 7 pounds a head (it's BYO.)
Only complaint is that it is always very popular so try to avoid going there at the weekend (or during ramadan, when it's closed.)