"Preferably a good real ale pub with nice atmosphere and no tellies or karaoke."
Depending on which bit of the city centre you are staying in either:
- Ship & Mitre (Dale St), great beer selection, good pub food. Also Rigby's (Dale St, pub food) and The Lion Tavern (Moorfields). Tapas at La Vina (opposite Rigby's) is quite good if you need something more substantial in that area.
- Philharmonic (Hope St, by the cathedrals), usually 5-8 beers on tap, only listed urinal in the UK, can be busy.
The curry houses are mostly along Renshaw Street, so the Phil/Bold St area is closest. But there are loads of good places to eat, depends on your budget!
EDIT: And as Binners suggested, the Baltic Fleet serves good beer, so if you are staying in the vicinity of the docks, it's a good bet.