We discovered this lovely restaurant in 1995 and have been back there several times since then, and I always refer to it as the best Thai restaurant I have ever been to. The quality of the food has not deteriorated over the years, and I can say that as I always order a similar main dish LOL My absolute favourite had always been a fish/seafood curry in a creamy coconut sauce with basil and lemongrass. Divine! But when they changed the menu and I had to find something new, now I tend to tiger prawns in a red curry, vegetables and lime leaves.
The prices are very reasonable, no mains cost more than NZ$20 (seafood and fish), chicken and beef come to 16.50/17.50. I have just found an invoice from 1995 in my photo album, we paid $19.80 for the seafood curry then, so the prices have not changed in twelve years. This is really astonishing!
I always try to get a table outside because they have a fabulous deck with great views over Auckland. But also the interior is nice, with a warm and comfortable atmosphere. In total they have three or four dining areas, one along Parnell Road.
Update April 2011
In the meantime I have been back to Thai Friends several more times. But on our last visit we were quite a bit annoyed because we had to wait for our food for ages despite the restaurant not being full. At the next table was a group of German tourists starving as well, and you could see the relief on everybody's face - including ours - when the food finally arrived. The food was good. But did not really enjoy mine as the thin soupy sauce of my seafood curry was so spicy that I could not breathe when trying to eat it LOL (No warning on the menu!) So I drained the seafood and vegetables out of the killer broth and ate it with dry rice. This was acceptable - and survivable ;-))
Staff very friendly as always - but our waitress also a bit helpless.
Prices have risen in the meantime. Meat dishes are up to NZ$ 22.80, seafood NZ$ 25.50. Steamed jasmine rice comes at an extra cost of NZ$ 2.50.