The cafe, or “Chocolat Bar,” as it’s called in Bel Amer parlance, is on the second floor. But getting to the small flight of stairs that takes you there might take a while — the shop on the ground floor has hundreds of varieties of chocolates, madeleines, biscuits and cakes to distract you. Some of the flavors at Chocolat Bel Amer are bewitching (or baffling), including curry-and-rice flavored chocolate biscuits. On a recent visit, I headed upstairs and treated myself to the Special Dessert (¥1,620, including tax), an artfully arranged mille-feuille. While I waited, a middle-aged couple across from me dined on an afternoon tea set (¥5,400) that involved a three-tiered silver tray that would have been at home in Buckingham Palace.
In line with the nationwide state of emergency declared on April 16, the government is strongly requesting that residents stay at home whenever possible and refrain from visiting bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.