Looking for lunch one day after a morning stroll round Sarue Onishi Park in Tokyo's eastern districts, I turned off the main road onto a quiet little side street, just to see what I could find. I didn't have to go far before a couple of blue banners caught my eye: a look at the menu and a look inside, and I decided to give it a try.
The interior is unfussy but appealing, with a mellow atmosphere more like that of a beachfront cafe. There are white walls and light wood fittings, plants dotted around to lend some colour, a slowly turning ceiling fan, a wreath-like decoration with starfish and other nautical trinkets entangled in it. In one corner there's a TV showing looped clips of crashing waves and racing dolphins, the background music is gentle acoustic songs, and the Pacific theme extends to the shirts worn by the staff, colourful but not gaudy.
I decided on the Taco Rice (just ¥780!) for my lunch, which came with a small bowl of egg soup of the kind I often get in Chinese restaurants. It was a good size (the Taco Rice, not the soup), with a nice blend of flavours and textures, the coarse, lightly spicy beef going well with the smooth avocado and juicy tomato. I also got a small but tasty dessert, a couple of cubes of some sweet tofu-like substance, with a tangy orange sauce and precisely two berries.
Other than Taco Rice, the lunch menu (which has complete English information) includes Cobb Salad, Massaman Curry and Yakuzen Curry, a Lomi Lomi Bowl, a Loco Moco Bowl, and the (slightly unfortunately named) house special BO Burger, all between ¥680 and ¥890. If you're there before or after lunchtime, there's some English on the menu, but not everything: soft drinks and beverages (including a few varieties of herb tea) cost between ¥400 and ¥500, while for ¥600 you can have one of three kinds of smoothie, acai berry, mango, or green. Sweets include an acai bowl for ¥800, a mini sweet plate for ¥500, or mini pancakes for ¥450.
As well as serving food and drinks, they also have a selection of goods for sale: books and stationery, ceramics and ornaments, candles and jewelry. They also hold regular seminars on a range of topics, and occasional events such as head massage therapy, English conversation sessions, and bossanova music shows.
Blue Ocean Cafe is two minutes' walk from exit A1 of Sumiyoshi station on the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon line and the Toei Shinjuku line. It's open daily except Wednesday from 10:00am to 5:00pm, serving lunch from 11:30am to 2:00pm.