And so, on the first day of my November (2011) Japan trip, I went to the famous Swallowtail Butler Café. It is situated in Ikebukuro.
May 2011, With Reiko and Cvy
Swallowtail Cafe is a themed cafe that features employees dressed up as butlers and the guest being treated like princesses/prince. They go by a time limitation system and the restaurant is reservations only. So if you were intending to swing around casually, be prepared to be rejected.
Reiko kindly helped us made a reservation and brought us to the place.
Nov 2011, with Reiko and Zephyus
It was actually my 2nd time at the Swallowtail Butler Cafe and coupled with the fact we were late did made the experience less enjoyable than the first. But it was all our (Zephyus & I)'s fault for failing to be punctual ToT. I think we forgot about the time difference…
Like most Japanese themed cafes or restaurants, photography is not allowed.
At the beginning, you walk down a flight of stairs into the basement where the cafe resides. The place is intricately decorated with heavy wooden doors, beautiful Victorian styled furniture, lavish curtains and huge chandeliers. Very Victorian styled.
You will first be required to wait at the doorway then be led into this alley like space where they will do a self introduction of themselves and help you with your coat. A main head butler, usually of more seniority, will welcome you at the door while introducing another butler (usually younger) , as the main butler to serve you.
I was lucky for both my session there, we were assigned to a bishounen butler :D
This was the butler that served Cvy, Reiko and I in May. Doesn't he remind you of Sebastian from Kuroshitsuji xD?!
Your coat (if any) will be kept in a locker along with your bags if you want. After you are seated , the head butler will bring over a pretty key and put it into a small holder on your table. That is the key to your coat locker.
Swallowtail Restaurant features western cuisine that are delicately made. It is assumed that they have professional chefs to do the job because the quality of the dishes and dessert are fairly high. In fact, the Swallowtail Butler Cafe even has a Patisserie of their own on another side of Ikebukuro.
I had a relatively more interesting experience on my first trip as our butler seemed to make more effort to talk to us and seemed more dedicated to our table. My 2nd experience sees the restaurant with lesser manpower and erm, lesser attention from our butler. Or it might just be the lack of time. *shrugs*
This is the monthly desserts we had for Tea.
The Catherine menu is only for dinner and will set you back at a minimum of Y4200. Take note, if your slot is in the evening, you are only allowed to take the dinner menu. Which might I point out, is exorbitantly priced.
At the restaurant, you are treated like a princess and is expected to do nothing except eat (and pay =.=). Tea pouring and chair pulling are the job of the butler. Even going to the ladies requires the escort of the butlers.
I had a very interesting experience with our butler the first time I was there. I needed to use the ladies but as i couldn't speak Japanese, I troubled reiko to help me inform the butlers. And just so happen that when that happen , our dedicated butler was busy pouring ice water for us and so reiko told another butler instead.
The butler, thinking reiko was the one who needed to visit the ladies then proceed to help her with her chair. At that instance, I sensed it was time for me to stand up before this misunderstanding gets any deeper. So I stood up with every intention of walking to the Ladies myself.
And in that split second of me standing up from my chair , our Sebastian butler, who was pouring iced water got the shock of his life and jumped in to help me pull my chair. That scene, according to Reiko and Cvy, was a hilarious sight xD
* cue fangirl moment*
I apologised I swear =x
After the scare, my poor butler then went back to his professional self and proceed to lead me to the ladies. Only to realise halfway, he was still holding the iced water bottle xD He then embarrassingly handed it over to another butler LOL!!
Then the best part came.
Well I'm not sure if it's because the door that day was faulty or was it actually a scripted act. But before we went through the door (that leads to a lobby before the toilets), he started saying something in Japanese and then suddenly he banged open the door with his shoulder manga style!!! I was both stunned and impressed xD
He then led me into the spacious area before the splitting into the toilets and started explaining to me where the toilets are and where the Exits are etc So sweet >w<!
After that, I took my time marvelling at the pretty toilet and came out to find we were the last diners in the entire cafe =_=||| The moment I opened the door to the dining area, I heard Reiko calling out to me “ Hurry up Kaika !”. Needless to say, I panicked and started to run towards the table but this time my butler was well prepared. He was just around the toilet entrance and told me calmly not to run. I couldn’t understand Japanese but I could sort of make out what he meant and thus obediently slowed my pace down. He then slowly escorted me back to the table and while I couldn’t help but notice the 2 line of Butlers standing around waiting for us >.< . According to Reiko and Cvy, they felt really embarressed while they were waiting for me because all the butlers were just standing on both sides of the empty cafe, looking at them xD
Oh well, at least that made for a very unique experience no xD ?
Cafe pictures taken from :
- http://www.butlers-cafe.jp/modules/pico/index.php?content_id=1 (map)
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