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Massive Chinese Chain Opens a Buddakan-Like Meatpacking District Outpost

Plus, Fat Joe ordered 100 pounds of lobster wontons from Brooklyn Chop House — and more intel

The interior of a lounge with red, gold, and wooden accents and a checkered black and white floor
Helen’s [Official]

Hong Kong lounge Helen’s joins the Meatpacking District

A new pan-Asian restaurant and lounge with over 100 locations across China and Hong Kong has opened in the Meatpacking District. Dubbed Helen’s, the restaurant promises diners an “elevated” and “truly distinctive” experience — though it sounds like other larger Chinese venues in town (cough: Buddakan, and just a couple blocks away).

The underground space is extravagantly decorated with golden Asian accents, including hand-carved wooden art pieces. It has a loungey vibe, and cocktails pull from other countries like Japan and Thailand; they’re named things like “Lost in Tokyo” (Toki whiskey, lemon oil, prune juice, soda) and “One Night in Chiangmai” (gin, mint-flavored cremè liqueur, lavender, tonic).

As for food, bar bites like beef potstickers, pork chashu buns, and spring rolls are served from a restored dim sum cart. Helen’s is located at 22 1/2 Ninth Avenue, at West 13th Street, and is open Tuesday to Sunday evenings.

In other news

— This delivery guy lucked out: Rapper Fat Joe recently placed a massive order at Brooklyn Chop House for a video shoot, including 500 chicken satays, 100 pounds of salt-and-pepper lobster wontons, and 1,000 bacon cheeseburger dumplings. He tipped $1,000.

Momofuku Nishi soon adds a late-night Sicilian pizza menu offering $5 slices with chef Nick Tamburo’s house-made tomato sauce, made with anchovies, garlic, and oregano. Some options include a three-cheese pie and a cheeseburger one topped with dry aged beef and iceberg lettuce. It’s available at the bar as of 9:30 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays.

— Chef Flynn McGarry’s Lower East Side tasting menu restaurant Gem has reopened after a summer break with a lot more seafood on the menu. It’s now operating four days a week and the price of dinner has gone up to $200 from $155.

— One of NYC’s largest street food festivals, the Vendy Awards, has its final run this weekend.

— The LIC Flea & Food returns this weekend with a beer and wine garden, as well as several food vendors, including seafood restaurant the Shaking Crab, Jamaican vendor the Kozy Kook, and Peruvian vendor Don Ceviche.

— An early morning brawl went down at a Midtown Taco Bell this past Wednesday.

— There’s a new study out that claims that restaurant health code violations are skyrocketing across the city.

— Lol: