WITH hindsight, it was probably tempting fate to dine at Devil's Advocate, the restaurant filling the spot where Beirut used to be in Wan Chai. One of our party ordered the 200-gram salmon steak, only to receive a sirloin steak, even though it looked appetising. Unfortunately, the waitress eyed us suspiciously when we told her what had happened. We would be the first to admit to being a little devilish from time to time, but this was not one of those occasions. We guessed that there had been a genuine mix-up with the order. We had spent several minutes deciding on the salmon although the waitress had marked it down on her pad as sirloin. Our waitress reordered the salmon, despite being less than keen to do so. Unfortunately, when it arrived it appeared to be shallow-fried and rather greasy for a dish that was supposed to be grilled. The sauteed new potatoes, though, were delicious, as were the steamed broccoli, carrots and green beans, which were crisp and retained their colour. The other main courses - fettuccine with chicken and garlic, and chargrilled chicken caesar salad - were adequate. Although there were lots of pasta and sweet-tasting tomatoes in the fettuccine, the chicken was stringy and tasteless and there was not enough garlic. On a previous occasion when we ordered the dish, the chicken's texture had been disappointing, too. The chargrilled chicken caesar salad came served on a lush bed of romaine lettuce and crispy croutons, but again the poultry fell short of expectations: there was little indication of the smoky flavour associated with this method of cooking. However, our appetisers were more enjoyable. The carrot and sweetcorn soup was smooth and substantial. Unlike many soups masquerading under this name, this one had the clearly discernible and tangy flavour of carrots. The tomato and mozzarella salad was attractively presented in alternate layers, with cheese of top quality, firm and delicately flavoured. The smoked salmon was also tasty, with a generous portion served on herb focaccia bread. We rounded off the meal with apple-and-cinnamon crumble. This had a crispy topping, a pungent flavour and was amply filled with fruit. It tasted like a homemade offering that could have been prepared in a country kitchen. We could not resist the chocolate bread-and-butter pudding which had an intense chocolate flavour, but was far too dry. Both were served with a delicious scoop of coffee ice-cream full of nuts. Overall, the meal was reasonable, but it lacked any outstanding characteristics. The day we visited was a gloomy and polluted one which made the interior look uninviting. The welcome that we received was a little chilly as well. The service was lackadaisical. This was despite ours being the only table occupied at the time. Our waitress appeared disinterested and was unable to say what the soup of the day was until she had checked with the kitchen. On a number of occasions we had to wave to get her attention, although by and large the dishes arrived en masse for each course. One factor in Devil's Advocate's favour though is that it stays open until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays, depending on business. In this respect club-goers in Wan Chai will find it a convenient pit stop on their way home and it generally offers more than adequate portions. Lunch for three came to less than $700 with service and included soft drinks and one regular coffee. We felt this was reasonable but in these recessionary times it would have been even better value if it had been a little more keenly priced. Devil's Advocate, G/F 48 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Tel: 2865 7271, Open: midday to 2am Sunday to Thursday, midday to late Friday and Saturday.