If your life’s ambition is to be waited on hand and foot by a handsome foreign man in tie and tails, get thee to the Butlers Cafe on the double! Not only will you be presented with a tiara to wear for the occasion, ringing the antique bell will bring the servant of your dreams running, with a, “Yes, my princess?” and a winning smile.
According to the website, the butlers come from all over the world: England, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Turkey, South Africa, and Thailand. And all are graduates of “Butler University”! Let’s meet one of them, shall we?
Butler Eli (who is 183 cm tall and comes from France) tells us that his hobby is playing classical guitar, what he’d most like to do on his day off is pick roses in the castle garden, that he turns to the head butler Kazu for advice on how to be the perfect man. He thinks he’d be good at teaching butler’s manners, and the nicest thing anyone can say to him is to choose him as their butler, even though he modestly claims not to be at all attractive. (And because this is Japan, I bet the other thing we know about him is that he wouldn’t have been hired if he couldn’t make charming conversation with his Japanese customers in the lingua franca, so he’s probably put in boatloads of time studying for the JLPT Level One. Good to know that it qualifies you not only for the diplomatic service, but to elegantly dish up tea and scones!)
And what treats might be on offer for La Princesse Du Jour? You can go full monty with the “Princess Course” for $45 (Welcome Drink, Appetizer & Salad, Special Pasta, Main Course, Dessert Selection, Tea, and a Special Present) in the curtained booth ($5 extra per person charge), or sit at a regular table next to all the other royals and indulge in anything from Sea Urchin Carbonara ($15) to a stack of pancakes ($12). Tea is of course served in heart-shaped cups.
All photos from Kera’s Boku magazine.
Update: Sadly, the Butler Cafe has closed ( ; _ ; )
Don’t miss The Last Tea Bowl Thief!
“I don’t know when I’ve been more caught up in a story. A masterful achievement.”—Terry Shames, award-winning author of An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!