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Palawan opens own Oxford restaurant

Rasita Palawan has cooked in several popular restaurants around Oxford for years, but now she finally has her own.

Palawan has worked at Two Stick, Big Bad Breakfast, Pizza Den and for Aramark at the University of Mississippi.

“I started to think about three years ago of opening my own restaurant,” Palawan said. “It took a long time to find the right location.”

Palawan opened Zaap Thai Kitchen on Feb. 18 at 1438 N. Lamar Blvd. The restaurant is located next door to Oxford Spot convenience store and gas station.

“Not many know we are here yet,” Palawan said. “But we have a good lunch crowd and take-out orders are good.”

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They offer take-out and eat-in service. The restaurant is casual with unpretentious tables and chairs. Palawan said she wants Zaap to be known for its food, which she claims is the best Thai food around. She keeps her menu small and simple.

“That way, I can concentrate on those items and make sure they are the best,” she said. “I make everything from scratch to make each dish from fresh products.”

Palawan, who was born in Taiwan, has lived in Oxford for 11 years.

Right now, Palawan does all of the cooking herself but she is currently training someone her recipes to help her in the kitchen.

“I teach them to do it exactly like me,” she said.

Thai food lovers will find favorites like Pad Thai noodles and spicy curry, and drunken noodles, along with some new dishes that have Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese “twists” to them, Palawan said.

“I try to make my food a little different, more special, than other places,” she said. “We get a lot of good comments about our spicy curry which I also make from scratch.”

For more information about Zaap or to place a take-out order, call 662-801-9991.