Recent meal at Tabaq was also mediocre, with only the ginger chicken a tasty standout.
Bombay Mahal on Jean Talon hasn't failed me yet and their samosas are great.
Goute de LInde (Taste of India) in NDG (Monkland at Beaconsfield) is pretty good, especially the spicy nagga chicken and the paneers.
For spices etc I like the Jean-Talon Bazar on Jean-Talon West about halfway between Parc and L'Acadie. If they don't have what you're looking for, there are a couple more shops on that strip.
Pushap is solid. The first two times I ate at Tabaq (Pakistani, also on Jean-Talon, across the street from Cafe Union), both weekend lunch times, it was excellent. But recently I went back on a weekend night and it was mediocre.
I had the butter chicken last night at Maison Curry Golden and it was awful. They had used way too much cashew nut paste (it tasted like peanut butter) and was sickeningly sweet. The Bhoona shrimp however were quite good. All in all, I think iit is a bit expensive for what they offer, i.e. average food, small portions, no ambiance and mediocre service. Would Royal Cari or Gate of India across the street been any better?
I haven't been to those places in a long while, but they are the same or worse. The places on St-Laurent serve up the same kind bland gringofied food.
I would recomend any of the places in Parc-Ex that usually come up on this board, with the exception of Punjab Palace which I find kinda boring.
My preferred Indian Restaurant in Montreal is Maison Curry Golden. It's one of TWO restaurants at the corner of St. Laurent and Fairmount, so don't get mixed up! (Both owned by the same person, food varies).
If you go here for lunch, you can do quite well for $5 plus a little more ($2) for nan. Always get the nan, it is one of the top two nan places in the city (the other is the hideously overpriced Le Taj on Stanley, so if you want to sample THAT you can go to the Taj's lunch buffet and just keep asking for warm, fresh nan).
The ultimate is to go to Maison Curry Golden and order the Butter Chicken with nan. It is unquestionably the best Indian dish I have tried so far in the city. After repeated sampling, I have noticed the flavour does vary at bit . . .but when it is good it's great.
Decor is terrible and service is so-so. But it's food at the right price.
Without a doubt, the best is GANGES 6079 Sherbrooke Ouest. West of Decarie. Even if you are downtown or in Plateau, it is well worth the trip. Fresh, fresh high quality ingredients. (Nothing has been stewing on a back burner for days into an unrecognizable brown glop, for example, a problem at some Indian restos.) Also good selection of beers. Superb service - so polite and helpful. We're from Vermont and this is a must-eat every trip. Enjoy!
samosas- at Pushap on pare st at the corner of transIsland near decarie. Pushap has vegetarian thali, at times a bit greasy.
Malhi sweet- jarry (see post below from feast or famine).
best spices: victoria ave. between van horne and plamondon has several small indian and sri lankan grocers. also Adonis- on lacadie, has amazing mid-eastern fare.