The megastar made a surprise, but low-key, appearance at Veer Dhara restaurant in Hertfordshire, England. But after enjoying a quiet curry with friends, he was unable to pay the bill.
With an American Express card and American dollars the only payment options he had on hand, Tom was left red-faced when he realised he had no way of fixing up the £220 ($350) bill.
"At the end of the meal he wanted to pay, but we could not accept American Express," restaurant manager Darshit Hora told The Evening Standard.
"He said his whole group only had dollars, then a lady came forward and paid in £50 notes."
The manager added, "The bill was £220.85 so they left almost an £80 tip. It was very generous. If they did not have any money, it would have been on the house."
Tom's bodyguards entered the restaurant before his arrival to warn staff that a "special" Hollywood star was on his way.
"It was a big shock for us when he walked in," said the manager. "He said we had been recommended to him, but he would not say by whom."
For the record, Tom ordered an chicken tikka masala "extra spicy".