While Tasty Wok & Asian Market is her first entrepreneurial venture, Jung Matranga is no newcomer to Sierra Vista’s Asian food scene.
The new restaurateur spent six years working long hours at Hana Tokyo before becoming business partners with her former boss to create Sierra Vista’s newest Asian offering.
Located at 386 W. Fry Blvd., in the location previously occupied by Peacock Restaurant, Tasty Wok & Asian Market offers a variety of Chinese, Korean and Japanese delicacies as well as Asian groceries.
The restaurant’s specialty is hot pot, a hearty Chinese dish where fresh meats and vegetables are cooked at the table in a rich broth of one’s choice. Pork slices, mussels, vermicelli, napa cabbage, exotic mushrooms and even ramen noodles make an appearance on the varied menu.
For those who can withstand the heat, Matranga points out the Spicy Seafood Ramen hot pot as one to try.
The decision to not only run a restaurant, but an accompanying market, was inspired by her own experiences trying to procure Asian ingredients locally, Matranga says.
“Since I cook Asian food, I used to have to go shopping in Phoenix or Tucson, and have to spend over a hundred dollars each time,” stocking up on the ingredients, Matranga said.
She hopes that the groceries at Asian Market, which are supplied by several distributors out of Los Angeles, can assist others in Sierra Vista looking for authentic ingredients.
And, Matranga adds, while most of the groceries she carries cater to Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean palates, she hopes to soon offer ingredients for the Filipino and Hawaiian communities in Sierra Vista.
Learnings from Hana Tokyo have proven helpful for Matranga when it comes to ideas to improve business. She recently decided to add Japanese bento box specials to the offerings at Tasty Wok, a nod to the menu at her former place of employment.
“When I was working at Hana Tokyo, a lot of people would come in and get the bento boxes,” she said.
Like many other restaurants in Sierra Vista, hiring has been another challenge.
Beyond showing up every day for full 10-hour shifts herself, “I’ve had to put my son to work, and sometimes family members have to come in,” Matranga said.
As a new business owner, Matranga emphasized her desire to get customers the products they need, even if they are not currently offered at Tasty Wok & Asian Market.
“Please, let me help you. Tell me what you’re looking for, even if it’s a special order, and I will try to find it or order it,” she said.