It seems fitting that Rose Hui was a young (and very pregnant) soon-to-be mother when she and her husband, Dennis, took over ownership of Hui's Cantonese and American Restaurant in 1994. (Hui's was originally opened in 1969 by Dennis' brother, Yue Kwong Hui, and his wife, Cindy.) It's Rose's maternal instinct that has made this neighborhood spot a favorite for Chinese cuisine.
The first thing to know about Rose Hui is that she loves her customers. If you place a takeout order or dine at Hui's more than once, Rose will eventually get to know you and your family.
"We are a family-style business," Rose explained. "We care about our customers. We follow what they need. They're not really my customers - they're more like part of my family."
Beyond the friendly reception you'll get at Hui's, you'll also find a wide-range of tasty Chinese dishes. Some of the favorites are crab rangoon ($5.50), sesame chicken ($9/$11) and beef with broccoli ($9/$11). I will add that the egg rolls ($1.50) and Hui's Fried Rice ($7.30/$7.90) are a nice complement to any entree.
There is a little-known "secret" about Hui's - you can go in and ask Rose for a Family Special Dish, which will be a homemade recipe based on ingredients available in the restaurant that day.
"I think of them as surprise dishes, Rose said. "I don't know what they are ahead of time, I just make up my mind."
Customers grow up eating Hui's food and bring their children and grandchildren back to enjoy this local institution.
"I become close to customers and know them for four or five generations," Rose said. "Even when they move away, they come back and see family and want to come to Hui's. It's fun to see families grow up. I really have too much fun working with customers."
Therein lies the secret behind Hui's success - family run and family focused - since 1969.
NAME: Hui's Cantonese and American Restaurant
ADDRESS: 8818 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday
PRICE RANGE: about $6 to $18
HANDICAPPED ACCESS: yes
GLUTEN-FREE OPTIONS: yes - ask when ordering
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