No, it had lost its staircase from the first to the second floor. So, having walked up to the first floor, our group of seven were shunted in farcical fashion back down the stairs to wait in the "lift lobby". And a lengthy wait this turned out to be, as said lift lobby turned out to house the same old single Otis lift that carried hardly anyone apart from old people during the restaurant's lengthy previous incarnation.
After lunch, our renewed enquiries about a staircase receiving a negative response – raising serious questions about fire safety standards in my mind – we stood about for what seemed an eternity waiting for the lift. But not half as long, as it turned out, as we spent standing in the lift itself after it eventually arrived, since it ground to a halt during its descent.
Now, I've never been stuck in a lift before and it’s an experience I wouldn't recommend. After a couple of minutes waiting for the thing to get going again, we pressed the alarm button, but all this did was to cause what appeared to be a school bell to ring in the mid distance. No one responded, and looking around the lift compartment there appeared to be no intercom.
One of our group was unable to obtain a signal on his mobile phone and another had just obtained one in order to call the restaurant and tell them their lift was a liability when the thing started again and we got back to ground four or five minutes after setting off.
One of the fluent Cantonese speakers headed straight for the desk to inform staff of what had happened. Their response? A demonstration of the kind of attitude that makes Hong Kong the place it is.
"Only five people should travel in the lift," the woman responded, Madam Mao like, as if by rote.
"Then why," my colleague asked, "does the sign in the lift say that it is fit to carry eight people with a combined weight of 630 kilograms?"
Avoid this place, because if the flames don't get you first, the lift probably will.