Pastry: Biscuity crunch and fresh 7/10
Presentation: Interesting layered construction, eye catching 7/10
Value for money: $3.60 - Medium portion, fresh but avoidable 3/10
Overall score: 4.75/10
Filling: Whiter than white confectioners cream and flavourless custard 2/10
Pastry: Biscuity crunch and fresh 7/10
Presentation: Interesting layered construction, eye catching 7/10
Value for money: $3.60 - Medium portion, fresh but avoidable 3/10
Overall score: 4.75/10
A last minute decision to shop at Milleara Shopping centre gave me an opportunity to check out Milleara Bakery’s offerings once more. Their traditional vanilla slices looked woeful with neon yellow jelly-set custard, so instead opted for their ‘unique’ French Vanilla slice. At a reasonable $3.60 I was eager to see how confectioners cream would fair in the overall taste. The two layers of filling were almost tasteless when eaten individually. If not for the serviceable pastry that at least offered some saltiness and crunch, the whole thing would have been like eating a dollop of slightly sweetened air. The almost comically thick icing would not cut and was as hard as acrylic sheet. I removed and discarded immediately and ate the rest, with little good to remember.
Filling: Soft but average vanilla custard 6/10
Pastry: Well baked but not fresh 5/10
Presentation: Thick upturned icing layer with signs of yesterday’s 5/10
Value for money: $3.80 - Medium portion, lacking finesse and freshness 6/10
Overall score: 5.5/10
Out for a drive to keep the kids asleep on a Sunday afternoon, I drove through Westmeadows and pulled into their local bakery. After what felt like a lifetime waiting to be served, I risked the vanilla slice, pretty much guaranteed to be yesterday’s. Nevertheless, I sat in the car and quietly worked my way through the portion. It became evident that the icing was too thick and hard to break with a bite, so decided to peel it off the top layer of delaminated pastry . The creamy custard was similar to most vanilla slices around, with a tangy vanilla, powdered flavour. It had quite a nice soft texture, but there were signs of over exposure to the elements around the edge. The pastry was clearly well baked, and a nice biscuity thickness. Although it remained partially crispy, it would have been much better on the day it was baked.
Filling: Half decent custard 7/10
Pastry: Flaky and fresh, medium bake 8/10
Presentation: white glossy icing, raw sawn rectangle 7/10
Value for money: $5 - Small/medium portion, promised more 6/10
Overall score: 7/10
With a recommendation from a colleague that lives nearby, I drove through Kew East with intent. Vienna was a lovely little bakery, with room enough for one table and two chairs in the window and cake cabinets filled to the brim with fresh cakes and desserts. Selling their vanilla slices at a slightly higher than average $5 I was intrigued to see if the price translated into real quality ingredients. I was pleased to find a real custard nestled between the pastry sheets, thick and creamy with a hint of egg and a suggestion of vanilla, though I would like more. The pastry had taken a hammering in my car en route home, so the top layer had fallen apart and needed superficial reconstruction for my photo. Nevertheless, the pastry was quite good but I’ve had better; medium bake and flaky to the bite, but a richer, more golden bake would have been even better to offset the thick custard. The icing was my least favourite component. I couldn’t place the hidden ingredient, perhaps just lemon juice, but something tainted the flavour when eaten with the pastry and custard that I didn’t quite like. Beautifully glossy, delicately thin, but somewhat distracting in flavour. Overall, not bad and a welcome stop.
Filling: Proper eggy vanilla custard 9/10
Pastry: Freshly baked, cumbley and delicate 8/10
Presentation: Tri-layer, Artisan, brûléed top 9/10
Value for money: $6 - Small portion, fresh and tasty but too expensive 7/10
Overall score: 8.2/10
A trip down to the bay led me back to Mordialloc, where I had an excellent vanilla slice from the Paris Hot Bread Bakery last time out. With another French themed Patisserie nearby, I couldn’t resist purchasing the last Mille-Fuielle styled slice in the cabinet. Clearly a lot of care goes into the construction of such items on offer; it’s own golden paddle, piped custard, crumbly flaky pastry and bruleed sugar on top gave the slice a very Artisan appearance. Selling at a hefty $6 for a relatively small but well crafted slice still could have been a waste of money if it’s taste didn’t live up to its looks. Luckily I was happy with all components. I was really pleased to actually taste eggy, creamy, vanilla custard or creme patissiere (like I make at home). I would have given the custard 10 if there was actual vanilla bean used instead of essence. The pastry too was on point; delicately thin, almost wafer like and fresh to the bite. The bruleed top was alright, but I’ve had these before and I’m not sure that blow torching the entire top sheet of pastry is necessary. Give me a good fondant icing any day! Worth the visit.
Filling: Thick, slightly set vanilla custard 7.5/10
Pastry: Fresh, well defined layers and flaky 8/10
Presentation: Heavily dusted, great ratio of filling / pastry 8/10
Value for money: $4 - Medium/large portion, fresh and tasty 8/10
Overall score: 7.9/10
Central West Bakery in Braybrook was a good example of a Vietnamese/Aussie hybrid bakery done well. On offer they had a traditional vanilla slice, with thick white icing, a French vanilla with cream / custard and brown icing and this offering called a “custard vanilla slice” with the dusted sugar. I opted for his one as it looked the creamiest and contained the most custard, even though it was selling at 40 cents more than the alternatives. The custard, though slightly set, was creamy, sweet and with a hint of vanilla. Easy to eat with a fork or a good texture to consume with your hands as it wouldn’t squeeze out the sides. The pastry was really good; a rich, golden brown colour with neatly defined thin layers that crumbled with each bite. Worth a visit also for the large plane sculpture out in the car park that my boy loved.
Filling: Thick and lightly vanilla scented custard 7.5/10
Pastry: Freshly baked and flaky 8/10
Presentation: Tri-layer, rustic but inviting 8/10
Value for money: $7 - Medium/large portion, fresh and tasty 7/10
Overall score: 7.6/10
I rarely stroll up Errol Street, but found myself in the neighbourhood with Mrs B and the baby. I noticed Errol cafe advertising that they were also a Patisserie, so thought it wise to head inside to check out their cake cabinet. After exchanging a vanilla slice for a somewhat pricey $7 I left in anticipation, unable to immediately consume as I was carrying baby Snot Blog in the Bjorn and couldn’t risk the dusted sugar going in her eyes. After a little wait I got the slice out of its box, on to a park bench and then began to dig my teeth into its hearty cross section of custard and pastry. I was pleased that the pastry was light, flaky and golden. It allowed easy and seamless bites with minimal loss of custard out of the sides. So easy was the feast, that I actually managed to do it whilst walking along the pavement. The custard too was fresh and a thick viscoty, perhaps through an egg yolk or two. It had a definite vanilla inclusion, and was creamy and rather nice overall. A worthy inclusion into the Blog, but at $5 I think a more sensible price.
Filling: Gelatinous, heavy duty custard 4/10
Pastry: Soggy and pale 1/10
Presentation: School refectory styled - cling wrapped portion 5/10
Value for money: $3 - Huge slab, stale and poor quality 4.5/10
Overall score: 3.6/10
I broke my own sacred rule with this one, purchasing a vanilla slice in a cling wrapped, pre packaged portion from a bakery. I selected this monster of a slice over a more sensible and in truth, neatly presented offering from the pie shop round the corner, purely based on the huge amount of custard in the portion. Nevertheless, I consumed what I could of this and discarded what was almost inedible. Starting with the positives; the price and the soft and sweet icing that stuck like super glue to my fingers. Now the negatives - the huge layer of filling was merely set milky custard, but it’s not good when custard breaks away like crumbling cheese. Lastly, the pastry; clearly suffering from its plastic wrapping, the pale layers were almost wet with moisture and could be peeled back like a used band aid. This was not worth finishing. Next...
Filling: Average, on the turn vanilla custard 5/10
Pastry: Stale and useless 4/10
Presentation: Run of the mill rectanglular dusted effort 6/10
Value for money: $5 (estimate) - Average portion size, yesterday’s left overs 2/10
Overall score: 4.2/10
Taking out a vanilla slice, Portuguese egg tart and a vegan slice, the total set me back $14.50. Typically, Mrs B found the vegan slice to be uninspiring and didn’t want to finish it. Mum passed off half the egg tart to me as she was not satisfied and I didn’t consume the entire vanilla slice. Annoyingly the vanilla slice was yesterday’s, with stale peeling away from the ‘past it’s best’ custard. This actually made it easier to eat, as I spooned out the custard and left the lifeless pastry behind ready for the bin. Had this been fresh, it would still be very average. It’s the same that you see in most cafes around Melbourne, but for $5 dollars it’s a rip off. I might be inclined to shop elsewhere in Yarraville next time.
Filling: Loose consistency, slightly bland custard 6/10
Pastry: Flaky, buttery and rich 9/10
Presentation: Seen before Dulce de leche double base layer 8/10
Value for money: $5 (estimate) - Average portion size, authentic, delightfully fresh 8/10
Overall score: 7.75/10
I frequent Puckle Street regularly, and although I live in Essendon I like to think of this as my high street. Therefore, it came a shock to see a new bakery cafe of South American influence spring up in the last few weeks without notice. Similar to Dolce Bakehouse (reviewed in January) these guys were also selling lots of yummy treats with plenty of Dulce de Leche crammed in for good measure. This slice is approximately double in size to their rivals, and adequately priced. I might admit to their pastry being not quite as good but it was still fresh, crumbly and rich. To be honest, it was outstanding for a Sunday and if this was the norm I would be dishing out 10s every week for pastry. The custard was a bit of a let down; although a nice loose consistency with an excellent yellow hue the flavour just did not match. Missing any real vanilla hit and not overly sweet, I guess the inclusion of the burnt milk spread provided the additional sweetness lacking in the custard. My mum also loved her small but delicious chocolate custard profiterole. A welcome addition to Puckle Street and better than a lot of others in the area.
Filling: Smooth vanilla cream custard 7/10
Pastry: Not so fresh and a bit bland 5/10
Presentation: Average rectangular affair 6/10
Value for money: $3.50 - a nice little pick me up 6.5/10
Overall score: 6.1/10
Another mall, another bakery, another vanilla slice. This time Kathy Tran, or Yve’s Bakery as it appears to have been rebranded. The pleasantly sweet and smooth helping of vanilla custard was a winner. Coupled with the sweet and sticky icing with chocolate drizzle, this was also was rather good. The weakest part was the slightly rubbery pastry that was neither flaky or anything special. Half decent when on the go. Potentially baked early this morning, but more likely baked yesterday!
Filling: Low impact and minimal confectioners cream 2/10
Pastry: The main event, golden, rich caramel taste 9/10
Presentation: Rustic and unfinished, no icing or topping 5/10
Value for money: $3.50 - Fresh but not indulgent: slightly curious 5/10
Overall score: 5.25/10
I took a punt on a Vietnamese Bakery in St Albans offering a Napoleon slice; with mixed results. A curiously assembled sweet, noticeably heavy on the pastry and scrimping on a meaningful cream filling. Thankfully the pastry was excellent; a rich, golden almost burnt caramel tasting wedge, not delicate thin layers like most vanilla slices. Even though the pastry was excellent, the sheer amount of it in contrast to a filling made the whole thing a little like eating a dry weetbix. The filling was barely worth mentioning. No topping either. I also bought one of their egg tarts which was very tasty. Had they used their custard in between the pastry layers on this slice then the results might have been significantly different.
Filling: Sweet, slightly set vanilla custard 5.5/10
Pastry: Tight layers, not baked golden brown, not freshly baked 5/10
Presentation: Average Bakery effort, glossy white icing 6/10
Value for money: $2.50 - 2 for $5 but not fresh 7/10
Overall score: 5.9/10
With the rain pouring down, a rumbling stomach and a parking space right outside Ferguson Plare on Puckle Street, I could think of nothing better than a butter chicken pie for lunch. With no intention of purchasing a vanilla slice (I’ve had numerous from this chain before) I was sadly duped into their promotion of 2 for $5. Whilst this sounds promising, the slices themsleves turned out to be past their best let’s say. I have to say that the custard was better than the last slice I had from here, slightly less rubbery and a lot more tasty with vanilla. The icing was the highlight; glossy and sticky on the fingers. Sadly, the pastry proved a means of merely picking up the custard and icing, little else. Awesome pie, however.
Filling: Bog standard whipped cream powdered mix 5/10
Pastry: Tightly puffed and golden, sadly stale 5/10
Presentation: Average dusted effort, individually acetate wrapped 6/10
Value for money: $6 (estimate) - overpriced and yesterday’s 4/10
Overall score: 5/10
Stopping for lunch in a shopping centre is always a risky business, so I picked what I thought looked to be most up my street. I took out a slow cooked pulled beef focaccia, a small latte and a vanilla slice for a combined and somewhat hefty $21.50 from Espresso Room (ironically named considering its just a counter in a food court). Not massively impressed by my toasted sandwich or the quality of the coffee, I ended lunch by peeling away the acetate and chomping the vanilla slice freestyle. Instantly noticing the stale pastry and the tangy and very uninspiring custard powdered mixed whipped cream, I grudgingly continued to eat the slice until there was none left. Had this thing been fresh the pastry would have been half decent. However, the custard just was lackluster and lacking vanilla flavour. Next time I will try somewhere else.
Filling: Loose, creamy custard. Lacking vanilla content 6/10
Pastry: Superb, rich, biscuity golden flaked layers 10/10
Presentation: Artisan by name. Artisan by nature 8/10
Value for money: $5 (estimate) - some real highlights, decent price and size 8/10
Overall score: 8/10
I popped by this little French inspired bakery three or four years with no success of a vanilla slice. Today I wasn’t even intending to call in, but found myself in the area, and with no expectations I left with the last vanilla slice and Mrs B a jam donut (for a reasonable $9). I wasn’t sure it would survive the journey home; first in the pram next to my two year old and then in the foot well of the car. Surprisingly, plating up revealed the mountain of icing sugar had remained and all was coming up trumps. The presentation of this slice was interesting; dark layers of very rich looking flaky pastry, custard oozing out of the middle and lumpy jam present underneath the top layer of pastry. The real success story was the pastry. Absolutely beautifully baked, golden, flaky and morish. I also really enjoyed the jam; not just any old jam, but homemade (I assume) lumpy, raspberry jam that wasn’t just sweet, but also a little tart. Sadly the custard just wasn’t top notch. It was a nice loose consistency that provided an ooze with each bite, but annoyingly the vanilla content was lacking and it wasn’t a rich with egg as I’d hoped. In case you’re wondering, Mrs B took out the donut in the car and thoroughly enjoyed it. Overall, a nice surprise and I would recommend.
Filling: Flavourless, gelatinous, milky mix 3/10
Pastry: Verging on soggy, but passable. Below average 4/10
Presentation: Polarising icing, classy takeaway box 5/10
Value for money: $3.50. Poorly conceived product, throwaway job 3/10
Overall score: 3.75/10
It was a slightly risky manouvre eying up this vanilla slice from the doorway when they were already pre-packaged in their own takeaway containers. Regardless I took the gamble, spent my $3.50 and swiftly exited. It wasn’t until I opened the container and attempted a pickup that it became apparent that the icing was a slimy, almost butter icing consistency. This made for a very slidy and difficult grip. With one bite, I immediately sensed the failings of the rather gelatinous, bland milky custard mix. It chipped away with each bite and was a real let down. The pastry was ever so slightly better, but just on the verge of being soggy - also bland in its taste. The icing was woeful. A real slimey and pointless addition, offering nothing other than messy finger tips. Avoid if tempted.
Filling: Average but tasty enough, creamy vanilla custard 7/10
Pastry: Fresh and crispy, puffed rather than compressed 7/10
Presentation: Slap dash chocolate drizzle pattern, well proportioned 7/10
Value for money: $6.50 - Tiny portion but fresh - overpriced 6/10
Overall score: 6.75/10
An impromptu drive through the leafy suburb of Keilor led me to Caffe Dolce. Having since read their reviews on Zomato I might have done well to avoid this place, however I felt reasonably satisfied with my vanilla slice. I was initially surprised by the extortionate price tag of this thing, but at least it was fresh. It would have sat comfortably at around the $4 mark, especially given the smaller than average portion. The filling was the highlight; a fluffy, creamy vanilla custard that oozed out with each bite. Nice but not amazing. The pastry tasted homedmade, and had puffed more than I like in my slices. It was crispy and easy enough to bite through but not overly complex, like you get from high end pastry chefs. The icing was pretty good, applying itself with firm adhesion to my finger tips, but lacking any chocolate from the sporadic pattern applied. Not bad, but incorrectly priced.
Filling: Elogant, rich vanilla bean creme patissiere 9/10
Pastry: Dark, crisp and laced with icing membrane to avoid moisture 9/10
Presentation: Neat, no frills and heavy ratio of custard : pastry 9/10
Value for money: $6.40 - Up market suburb, big price, big portion, big indulgence 8.5/10
Overall score: 9/10
My arrival at Cocoa was slightly serendipitous as I was running early for an appointment in Kew. I only really wanted a coffee to warm me up from the inside out. Noticing a tray of freshly baked goodies in the window display I couldn’t resist the urge to get a takeaway vanilla slice too. And what a slice it turned out to be. Paying top dollar for something is worthwhile if it is made with quality components and indeed meets the brief, so $6.40 proved to be money well spent. The slice was large and heavy, with a generous portion of thick vanilla bean creme patissiere. It was nestled in between two delicately thin, golden flaky pastry layers that contained tiny speckles of what looked like icing or crystallised sugar. It made the pastry super crunchy and I can only presume it acts as an anti mostisture membrane to stop the pastry from going soggy over time. All together this was a very unexpected surprise and all before 9am! Highly recommended if you’re in the area,
Filling: Light, fluffy vanilla cream 7/10
Pastry: Golden colour, but sadly not fresh 6/10
Presentation: Neat, half sized rectangle. Heavily dusted sugar 7.5/10
Value for money: $3.50 - Small portion, not fresh but enjoyable in the sun 6/10
Overall score: 6.6/10
Filling: Pleasant, lightly vanilla flavoured custard 8/10
Pastry: Well defined, compact layers but not enough crunch 6/10
Presentation: Mille-feuille construction, neatly decorated icing 7.5/10
Value for money: $4.80 - decent portion and relatively fresh. Not as satisfying as predicted 7/10
Overall score: 7/10
I rarely traipse into areas like Toorak, so I was interested to see how a European themed bakery in the high street would hold up. I was pleasantly surprised that the price of this well presented vanilla slice wasn’t exceeding $5 which is common for a Mille-feuille in French patisseries. The slice seemed quite fresh, maybe not ‘just baked’ but perhaps the night before my morning visit. The custard was the highlight here; smooth and somewhat eggy, with a light vanilla taste coming through. I wish there was more of the custard rather than three layers of the pastry. The pastry itself promised more than it delivered. Although the layers were well compacted and a decent colour they didn’t deliver in crunch, flakiness or salty savouriness. Having said that, they did cut easily enough with a sharp knife, so all was not lost. Finally the icing; interestingly swirled cocoa pattern and a nice sweetness when combined with the not so sweet custard. Altogether, not bad, not overpriced and a good start to the weekend.
Filling: Vanilla whipped cream custard 8.5/10
Pastry: Nicely puffed, starting to go soft inside. 6/10
Presentation: Proprtionally sound, neatly iced with passionfruit flavour icing 8.5/10
Value for money: $4.50 - Average sized portion, relatively fresh, tasty 8/10
Overall score: 7.75/10
With Milleara Bakery sold out of vanilla slices I stumbled upon The Long Macc Cafe inside the arcade selling three different varieties in their cake cabinet. With a hard decision to make, I settled for the passionfruit topped slice rather than the dusted sugar and vanilla icing. I’m certain that the Cafe buy their cakes in, so I was pleased to see that the slices were at least fresh. It reminded me a lot of the Zouki Cafe passionfruit slice I had on the day my son was born at the Royal Womens Hospital, so maybe they provide the cakes? The slice in question was tasty; creamy, light, vanillery and the passionfruit icing was very subtle and not overly sweet. The pastry was well puffed and still crisp on the underside, but starting to soften up on the inside after being exposed to the moisture of the custard. Overall, a rather nice find. Coincidentally, I ended finishing Mrs B’s tiramisu as the richness and heavy cream was just to much for her heavily pregnant-self!
Filling: Thick, heavy duty bakery custard 7.5/10
Pastry: Delightfully fresh and flaky 8.5/10
Presentation: Joe average square with dusted sugar 7/10
Value for money: $4 - Large portion, fresh and almost finished me off 7.5/10
Overall score: 7.6/10
Having already eaten my body weight in brunch across the road at Backyard Cafe, I crossed the road to test out Sammy’s vanilla slice. A pretty unassuming venue, stock is limited by baked freshly. For $4 I was handed a larger than average portion, filled with thick, creamy custard mix with a distinct vanilla essence flavour. The highlight of this slice was the pastry; with its lighter than air, crisp and flaky makeup. My maple pulled pork Benedict was sitting heavy in my stomach already, so this slab was touch and go for being eaten in one sitting. You’ll be glad to know that I powered through regardless of my levels of discomfort.
Filling: A ludicrous serving of thick, heavy vanilla cream 8.5/10
Pastry: Sadly lacking in quantity and freshness 5/10
Presentation: A real spectacle in its entirety, but a slither looks odd 5/10
Value for money: $7 - Half sized portion based on the original Flinders offering - not fresh 6.5/10
Overall score: 6.25/10
I’ve waited a while to get my hands on a piece of the famous Flinders vanilla slice, managing to finally locate a close(ish) supplier in Sunny Brighton. I drove in anticipation of seeing this monster and was not let down by its skyscraper proportions. Unfortunately North Point Cafe have let themselves down by their need for profit; charging $7 for a half sized portion when the original cut lines are visible in the slab. To make matters worse for them they also served me the last piece of the old slice (pictured bottom right), sadly containing some withered pastry. They also annoyed an 8 months pregnant Mrs B who was charged 50c for cream on her tiramisu, only to then find none in her takeaway box - what are they playing at?!
The slice in question is undoubtably huge, even at a half size portion it took me two sittings to get through it. The sight of the slab was mesmerising, but I feel a thin, cross sectional slither just looked a bit daft. Proportionally the amount of filling to pastry is way off and the item itself is basically one large dollop of vanilla cream. It’s heavy, rich, gloopy cream too, not light and fluffy. It tastes great, with plenty of vanilla and an aftertaste of coconut - was there a secret ingredient in there somewhere? As mentioned, the pastry wasn’t fresh, but even if freshly baked it was not golden brown and rich in its makeup. The icing peeled off with the top layer of pastry and became obsolete pretty quickly, proving impossible to break down with just a plastic fork.
I’d be keen to try the Flinders slice again - at full size and maximum freshness, to really put it through its paces. But as for North Point Cafe - they should really evaluate their value for money and customer service in future.
Filling: Very sweet vanilla cream custard 7/10
Pastry: Well defined, dark layers, but not frssh and flaky 6.5/10
Presentation: Thick layer of icing sugar, very average construction 6.5/10
Value for money: $5.50 - Small / average sized portion, overpriced 4/10
Overall score: 6/10
Having seen a photo of Vault’s sandwich board posted on Twitter a few months back, I thought a visit to trendy Yarraville was in order. Many people advertise “award winning” items, so I took this one with a pinch of salt. I’m guessing this was nothing more than a marketing stunt, as after taking out their last vanilla slice I wasn’t particularly bowled over. The slice looked like yesterday’s and the dusted icing sugar was thickly dusted and falling off in large, avalanches with each bite. The pastry had a great colour but lacked flakiness, though still rigid (thankfully). The custard had a very definite vanilla essence flavour and was a good texture overall. Selling this item for $5.50 is a bit steep, but advertising something that doesn’t live up to the claim is frankly naive.
Filling: Sweet, fluffy, creamy custard 7/10
Pastry: Very nicely puffed layers, golden but dry 6.5/10
Presentation: Refined and well proportioned with real passion fruit icing 9/10
Value for money: $3.50 - Big portion and excellently priced 8/10
Overall score: 7.6/10
Sacca’s have somewhat of an empire in the northern suburbs, so I was only happy to oblige and sit with a latte and a passion fruit topped vanilla slice in their Epping coffee shop. I’m almost certain that their slices are bought in, but nevertheless there were two varieties to choose from. I witnessed the traditional vanilla being unpacked and sliced in a cardboard box, leading me to believe that they are baked nearby and sold. At a very affordable $7 I sat with with my two items and quietly consumed. The slice was very neatly assembled, with cleanly puffed golden layers of pastry visible, a smooth yellow custard and a passion fruit iced top. The pastry was not as good as I’d hoped; although golden and fresh it was slightly dry and lacking a buttery richness. It held together well enabling smooth cutting and biting and provided a sturdy vessel to get the custard from plate to mouth effectively. The custard itself was quite nice but lacking a punch of vanilla or egg. The real winner here was the icing ; sweet, slightly tart and a striking colour. A pleasant experience overall.
Filling: Bland, gelatinous, milky custard 3.5/10
Pastry: Presentable, thin layers, but lacking bite 5/10
Presentation: Highly stacked rectangular tri-layer effort 6.5/10
Value for money: $4.50 - Big portion but memorable for the wrong reasons 5/10
Overall score: 5/10
I hadn’t planned on stopping in a bakery whilst passing through Thomastown, however I saw the awning for Santinas Cakes next to the main road and thought I would give them a shot. I took away one of their highly stacked Italian vanilla slices, heavily dusted with icing sugar and packaged in its own piece of acetate. Upon peeling back the plastic I noticed the gelatinous texture and pale colour of custard that had been concealed previously. Nevertheless, I chowed down with a huge bite to take out all three layers of pastry and the double helping of custard. Sadly the custard was very bland, milky and without much sweetness or vanilla. It had obviously be made with large quantities of corn flour as this would explain the cloudy colour and slightly rubbery texture. The pastry, though looking half decent, in truth was very average. It was nicely puffed and golden in places but it lacked a biscuity crunch and was a little soft. Having had a good handful of Italian versions of a vanilla slice now, I cannot remember having a really good one. Shame.
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