A few weeks ago, I visited the infamous Swallowtail butler cafe in the Ikebukuro shopping district of Tokyo. There are many online reviews but here is my experience. Might as well make this my first blog post! ^^
This concept cafe involves the waiter’s taking on the role as the guest’s butler when they “returns” to their home. They will address you as “ojousama” and treat you as so through the whole visit – from the moment you walk in the doors till it’s time to end the fantasy. lol It is one of the very first and longest running butler cafes located in Otome Road.
I went with a friend, who was also interested but never got the chance to go. We took the stairs down to the cafe when it was time and was greeted by the first butler in waiting room. (´∀｀*) We sat down while they confirmed our reservation.
We only waited a moment before the doors opened into the restaurant our main butler and footman(? more experienced) butler welcomed us home, carried our bags and escorted us to our booth seat. Our butler introduced himself as Kaname. He wore glasses, was very charming and tall (*´ω｀*)す、すごい… I am glad we got him for our butler w
Kaname placed a cloth over our bags which were placed carefully beside us and then set napkins at our waist. My mind/body pretty much FROZE at this point. うわうわ！Σ(´∀｀)緊張したぁ！！ He asked us where we were from and was kind to offer us a English menu. We said it was okay, and not to hesitate in Japanese. He explained the menu in great detail and told us to ring the bell on the table when we were ready to order.
Each customer is required to get a set item on the menu. I got the Anna Maria Set, which is about 2800 yen (about $28.15 usd). It was exactly as shown as the menu photo and tasted very good! The bottom plate was a Chicken sandwich and crab/mozzarella quiche . The middle plate had a plain scone with cream and strawberry jam. The final and top plate had the dessert. The cafe’s daily cake, cream puff and lemon jelly. When ordering this set you are offered different types so order to your liking! (´∀｀ )
I was surprised because there were actually many other girls in the cafe, despite it being a weekday in the afternoon. Some like us, as pairs and a few on their own. Mostly women, but there was a group of four that had two males guests (perhaps dragged by their girlfriends?) One of the girls that had come by herself seemed to be very familiar with everything and I saw her talking to quiet a few butlers by her table. I wonder how many times you must come to be so relaxed there… I was giddy/nervous/nervous the whole time!
We were given paper strips to make wishes on, as they had a tanabata display outside the cafe. You could make a wish and hang the outside! I really had no idea what to write so I drew (or I tried) to doodle Kaname. I didn’t want to bother him to be my model while I drew (could you imagine! ｲﾔｲﾔ(ﾉ´∀｀*)無理～) so I drew him by memory… by this time we had to depart! Kaname and another butler escorted us out. They saw the paper strip I had and complimented me on the drawing but a regret I have is that I should of been more careful/alert! Kaname wasn’t wearing a black bow with his butler outfit and I think I drew his hair wrong (m´・ω・｀)m ごめんよ…。I feel bad I couldn’t capture him! lol
We also got a card to fill out and bring for the next time we go. If you bring it then you’ll get a official member’s card made to get points on. The more you go, the more little perks you get. For example: Over 4 times (with 300 points) you can pick to have a message/card from a butler that serves you that day or special Swallowtail brand tea of your choice. If you go over 11 times (with 1000 points) you could get a special Swallowtail towel. If you go over 50 times (5000 points) your membership card will be turned into a premium membership card and you will get a special Swallowtail key or special Swallowtail plate. Points will be deducted at this point for this treat. If you go over 101 times (points) you can have an autographed photo/card with a personal message from the butler or footman of your choice. With this last special perk, you will have to use all of your points and start from the beginning. Σ(´∀｀；) 101回って！すごすぎる！！
In all it was above excellent service! The food was very good too and I felt it was worth what I had paid. I don’t think it is something I could see myself doing every weekend… I just can’t afford it!! In the end it was just a fun little get away from the real world! lol┗(^o^ )┓三 I would defiantly recommend a visit to Swallowtail if you are ever in Japan. Note that reservations are usually made online or by phone about two weeks in advance. They do have menus and reservations available in English if needed, but the butlers themselves will most likely not speak fluent English.