By Leon Suseran
Nestled in the heart of South Ozone Park, Mars Kitchen Restaurant and Bar has returned, bigger and better. Speaking recently with the West Indian, the co- proprietor Maria Joseph, mentioned that the restaurant recently reopened, after being closed for a few weeks in 2021 due to renovations. And has now introduced the Guyanese home-styled Chinese food.
“We have our Chinese chef, Mr Kwan, we serve you up, just come in, check us out, get your regular Guyanese Chinese food, chowmein, lowmein…”, Joseph added.
The menu caters for breakfast, lunch and dinner. “For breakfast, we have baigan choka, bora, ochro—name it, we have it…we have salt fish, fried fish.”
They have a wide array of pastries and other baked goods that are all baked on site. “You saw, Leon, our kitchen is very huge —we did renovations— everything is done inside,” Fraser posited.
“We have freshly made mauby and sorrel,” she added.
When one enters the restaurant, one is bombarded with images of back home— All the major landmarks whether it is Stabroek Market, Kingston Lighthouse, Umana Yana, Red House, or the High Court, plastered on the walls. There’s even the “I Love Guyana” sign.
What went into such designing? According not Joseph, “we tried to make it a Guyanese concept, we tried to bring a little of every part of Guyana to our wall decor,” she noted. There are also old fashioned Guyanese kerosene lamps hung above each dining table.
Joseph said that the lamps, “were my husband’s (Sean Ally) idea—and they’re real…and they light….so at nights we kind of dim the lights and put them on.”
Restaurant patrons can feel free to take selfies and pictures using the catchy and colorful backdrops inside the dining area, with Guyana flags plastered all over as well. There is even a Live video of downtown Georgetown, Guyana being streamed on one of the monitors in the dining area. Additionally, patrons can view sports games and other current events on a huge screen inside the dining area.
“We have spacious restrooms, everything..and soon we will start to serve beer and wines,” she stated.
“We’re like a family-oriented spot, you can come with your family on a Sunday morning— how you go to the diner…you can call us ahead, we make the arrangements, fix the tables …you can also tell us if you prefer a specific type of Guyanese food, or something that we don’t have, and we can make it in the spot,” she said.
Mars Kitchen also has daily specials…”we try to meet people’s pockets so they can afford it …we had a hard time for the past year, and sometimes, not everybody can afford, so we try to make sure…”.
The restaurant also launched popular bundled menu items to suit the pockets of patrons, including the $5 snack box which includes a fish cake, cassava ball, egg ball,potato ball and a small soda; and their all-day $5 special (choice of food with a soda).
The restaurant is located at 107-08 Rockaway Boulevard, South Ozone Park, NY. They’re also located on Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub.
The couple are putting forth their best effort to offer the community tasty, variety and affordable Guyanese and West Indian dishes in a super clean environment.