The 1996 film is an adaptation of the original Â“La Cage aux FollesÂ” a 1978 Italo-French film, which for years remained the most successful foreign film to be released in the United States. It is based on a 1973 French play telling the story of a gay couple - Renato, the manager of a Saint Tropez, drag entertainment nightclub, and Albin, his star attraction - and the adventures that ensue when RenatoÂ’s son brings home his fiancĂ©Â’s ultra-conservative parents to meet them.
It would appear that the name, coincidentally or deliberately, has been adopted by many restaurants from California to London and to places as far as Thailand. Many would seem to be top restaurants, serving top food at top prices. Fair enough!
When I saw that a Birdcage Restaurant, clearly inspired by the film, opened in San Pedro, I hoped this was some entertainment to look forward to.
I had never come across a Â“surpriseÂ” 4 course set menu before. It reminded me of my school dinner days when I never knew what I was going to be given to eat. In this instance the meal consisted of two deep fried mini rolls as a starter, followed by a baked or fried fish cake, roast chicken with a few veggies, followed by a flan. Although the dishes were rather well prepared and quite tasty, I could not help feeling that the actual ingredients used were selected for their cheapness.
Wine and other drinks of course were additional to the basic 35Â€ for the meal and the show. I was most disappointed when they run out of the wine they recommended after serving the first bottle. It did not make a good impression.
As far as the Â“BirdcageÂ” theme is concerned, well there was no stage. Adopting the filmÂ’s theme would suggest some similarity with the portrayed nightclub, but most of the floor space was occupied by tables and chairs a bit too close to each other and, what they described as the show, consisted of a Spanish chap dressed in drag, acting as a waitress, and another English drag artist changing into different amusing costumes and moving amongst the tables in between servings with the object of entertaining the diners with some funny songs and lines.
I suppose that for 35Â€ plus drinks, it was not too bad but I do not think that I shall go there again. I found it a cross between school dinners and a girlÂ’s hen night. It all seemed to have been done on a shoestring and I would have preferred to pay a bit more and have a more entertaining evening or a better meal of my own choice.