In those days, it wasn't really a gastronomic experience, more of a way to get an extra pint or two without hitting the nightclubs and paying through the nose.
And if you were lucky, the waiters would put on some good music and you could all have a sing-song while you waited for your chicken madras.
How things have changed.
These days going for a curry is a totally different kettle of fish - and not just because we are no longer in our 20s, full of energy and blessed with a constitution which allows late-night spicy food to be eaten without consequences.
Some of you will know what I mean.
The Silk Route restaurant is not in the most auspicious of sites - in a retail park on the site of the former BAE Systems Strand Road HQ.
But what it lacks in kerb appeal, it more than makes up for with quality food and service.
We were warmly welcomed on our early Friday evening jaunt by the staff and taken to a table where menus were waiting for us and offered a drink immediately while we took the time to peruse them.
There are plenty of the old favourites here - chicken madras included - along with kormas, bhunas, jalfrezis and biryanis.
But there are also plenty of more unusual offerings, from aromatic lamb and mango satay to a hot and spicy king prawn harapyaz and a balti bangla sizzler.
Part of the menu is also given over to healthy choices - for those wanting to keep the calories down - including Tandoori sabzi (grilled paneer with vegetables) and Barai chicken.
It took us a little while to choose, opting for a mixture of old favourites and new options.
First came a couple of popadoms and chutney tray which got us off to a good start as there were a couple of spicy sauces in there as well as a cooling yoghurt.
Then it was chicken chaat puri for husband Bob and spicy lamb chops for me.
We've eaten chicken chaat in plenty of curry houses, but this turned out to be one of the best. A large puri bread opened up to reveal a huge pile of nicely spiced chicken and onions which hit the spot.
Across the table three lamb chops arrived on a sizzling platter along with fried onions in a hot marinade. They were delicious - although so plentiful I had to hand one over the table to finish them off. Don't order these if you don't like very spicy food. I do, and even I needed the help of a cooling yoghurt afterwards.
Husband Bob went semi-retro for his main course, opting for chicken mirch massala - a hot and spicy version of the old favourite chicken tikka massala, along with mushrooms rice and a garlic nan bread.
It came in a large white bowl to emphasize the traditional red colour, packed with chicken pieces and with a sauce which had a memory of the old creamy massala but with a spicy top note. Delicious.
For me it was the Bengal handi special cod. Thick pieces of flaky fish in a medium spiced curry sauce, topped with chillis and fried onion, with pilau rice and a tandoori roti.
It was an aptly named dish as this was very special. Fish and curry sauce are a match made in heaven. The chunkiness of cod in particular absorbs curry well, providing that wonderful combination of flaky texture and spice. Excellent.
A word too for the tandoori roti which was one of the best I've had - thin and crispy in parts and fluffy in others - the perfect scoop for the curried cod.
All of this, including a handful or drinks, came in at a very reasonable £60.
So there you have it - a wonderful meal, great service and home before 9pm.
How times have changed!
The Silk Route,