Today's custard square comes to us courtesy of my friend Matthew, who was visiting Wellington last week (indeed, we dined with him at Plum Cafe on Thursday) and while here he managed to uncover what sounds like the best custard square (though actually mille-feuille, but close enough) yet to be found in the windy city. He kindly wrote a review, which in the best interests of the public really needed to be posted here, so that you also may find the custard nirvana he discovered. ;-)
Without further ado, Matthew's fantastic description:
If you are visiting or have the good fortune of living in Wellington, La Cloche should be somewhere you visit! As a purveyor of fine French fare, they serve the classics - filled baguettes, proper quiche, onion tarts, ze French onion soup, and an array of classic French desserts. Among them was a classic example of mille-feuille. Mille-feuille is the traditional French version of a custard square, and differs substantially only in that it traditionally has three layers of pastry rather than two. Occasionally variations also call for the addition of jam, but not in this case.
At $6, this large portion was reasonably priced for this kind of establishment - it was almost a meal in itself. Clean and well presented, with an appealing decoration in the icing. It certainly scored on price and appearance. The custard was a divine consistency, neither too soft or too firm, it wasn't gluggy and didn't stick to the roof of your mouth. Clean, flavoursome, smooth, and with just the right degree of sweetness. The dish was served a little chilled, but not too cold, which I think is optimal.
The three layers of pastry were, at first glance, a little thick; however they surprised my by being in just the right quantity to compliment the custard. They were fresh, crisp, and delicious. In addition, they had not become chewy - which I value very highly. Finally the icing, in addition to being well presented, was quite sweet, but not overpowering. Together with the other components, it was very well balanced.
My only criticism of the dish was that unlike the best two layer custard squares I have tasted, this version was a little harder to eat and resulted in the custard going in the opposite direction from the fork. However, I don't feel this was a significant issue and is due to the nature of the dish rather than its construction.
My two friends rated the custard square very highly, going far enough as to say they would come back for the mille-feuille alone (not that the other desserts ranked lowly)! They praised the custard, the balance of ingredients, the levels of sweetness. As a final ranking, I would rank this custard square as a 9 out of 10. You can't get much better than this for love or money!
La Cloche is located at 134 Old Hutt Road, Kaiwharawhara, Wellington, ph 04 473 4892, www.lacloche.co.nz