Text by John Matthews Translated by Ann Lee
41-2, CaiShan, Gushan District
Mon-Thu 3:30-11 pm+,
Fri-Sat 12 pm-12 am+
No service charge.
Free wireless internet.
The scenery beyond Sun Yat-Sen University hits you hard as you continue on the rugged and windy CaiShan Rd. on the west side of Monkey Mountain. This once-secluded gem of a community is a breath of fresh air only minutes by car or motorcycle from the noise of Kaohsiung City. Now it is becoming the home to a growing list of cafes and restaurants with the most recent incarnation coming from Escape 41. This place is situated directly over the waterfront and certainly has some of the greatest seascape views up and down the coastline.
Foreign owned and operated, Escape 41 is, as its name suggests, an escape, however brief, from the day to day grind of the city. The scenery isn't the only characteristic the strikes you here, as the location and the menu are just as liberating. A fusion between East and West exists in the food here, with a foundation of recipes coming from European taste buds. For example, in the appetizers the chips (french fries) NT$80-100 are sliced thick, come with an assortment of condiments and are more tender and closer to the texture of potatoes than they are crispy. The variety of salads (NT$80-150) use ingredients that are decidedly fusion by adding things like mango, orange and lime on the one hand, and using Mediterranean flavors on the other.
The burgers are as interesting as they come and delicious. The Fusion Burger (NT$220) is a surprise and a very tasty one at that. Both burgers (vegetarian NT$200) use peanut butter as their base condiment and come with your choice of salad or chips.
andwiches are not a bad option as they come cheaper in price (NT$90-160). There are also great pizzas, kebabs and every known hot or cold drink on the menu. The seating here is huge, using both indoor and outdoor space with a huge deck and access to a pebbly beach below.
Escape 41 lies far below the road, so keep your eyes wide open for directional signs, after you pass the university campus and enter a traditional red arch on your left (in front of an elementary school). If you find yourself heading down a steep road with rooftops and ocean nearly in your face, you're not far!