In one word: Homemade
Yet another recommendation via the web led me to the small shopping strip of Chirn Park where I found the bakery with one solitary French Vanilla slice remaining. I must admit, its appearance left me questioning how good it was going to taste, but the layer of jam gave it a fighting chance at least. The whole thing reminded me of something that I could make at home or at least the homemade feel you get with a school canteen dinner.
The pastry was very puffy, similar to a strudel and not the typical flaky pastry found in a patisserie. The middle layer was understandably a right off due to the heavy filling. The majority of the filling was a heavy dosing of thick whipped cream and a smaller portion of rather nice yellow custard. Had the ratios been back to front I think it would be less heavy and I may have been able to finish.
The jam was very sweet and gave the already rich slice way too much sweetness, as nice as the taste of strawberry is. Then there is the thin fondant on top...unnecessary when the jam does the job of adding sweetness and flavour.
A few refinements and this slice could be really good and at $4 it's pretty good value for money in portion size.