Travel Eats: RuYi at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino | chicago foodie girl


Travel Eats: RuYi at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino

As I've mentioned numerous times over the years, I have a soft spot for Wisconsin. I spent my undergraduate years there and during that time, I learned to appreciate the slower pace, the expanses of golden fields, the quirky sayings, and its inhabitants' unabashed love for dairy products. I seriously considered staying there post-college (in either Milwaukee or Madison), but the lure of living in Chicago eventually won out. Realistically, I'm glad I didn't end up there for a variety of reasons, but I do still have mad love for the land of cheese.

While I have a long list of must-visit spots in Wisconsin, Milwaukee is still one of my all-time favorite stops. Along with the beautiful lakefront area (which is never quite as crowded as it is in Chicago), there's also a gorgeous top-notch art museum, long months filled with nonstop festivals and concerts, and a burgeoning food scene. While the city does have its own unique vibe, it feels a bit reminiscent of the Chicago of yesteryear with its mix of new developments and old-school charm. After our trip to Potawatomi Hotel & Casino for the Woodford Reserve dinner last year, Diana and I have been itching to get back to Milwaukee to explore more of the food scene, so of course, the moment the good folks at Potawatomi invited us back to check out their newly expanded Asian restaurant RuYi, we immediately cleared our schedules, jumped into Big Red and headed up to Wisconsin for a foodie-filled weekend.

RuYi (derived from a term meaning "as you wish" in ancient China) has long been a popular option in Milwaukee for authentic Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai favorites, thanks to Chef Tony Ho. A veteran of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo, Chef Ho created a menu that appeals to a wide variety of tastes (playing into the concept of food "as you wish"). The restaurant recently expanded to include a sushi bar and Ho played a pivotal role in ensuring the quality of the sushi is at the highest level possible. The fish is flown in twice a week from a trusted proprietor in Japan and prepped in a specially designed walk-in cooler - it's 36 hours from sea to sushi, which is a phenomenal turnaround for the Midwest.

Diana and I arrived at Potawatomi early afternoon, flung our bags in our room, and immediately headed downstairs to RuYi for our sushi extravaganza (living the sushi lovers dream!). We were greeted by Chef Ho with a gorgeous assortment of nigiri. Every piece was so fresh and so perfectly assembled - this platter really set the bar high! The standouts included the buttery Escolar (super white tuna), the bold Unagi (freshwater eel), and the delicate Tai (red snapper).

So much deliciousness!

Next, we moved on to the RuYi Specialty Roll: spicy salmon, tempura crunch, avocado, yellowtail, tuna, and tobiko with spicy mayo. We both fell hard for this spicy roll, thanks to the combination of a few of our favorite cuts of fish paired with the buttery avocado and crunchy tempura pieces.

Plus, how perfectly photogenic was this roll?!

Then we sampled another of their signature offerings, the Fire Keeper's Roll: spicy salmon, jalapeno, tuna, super white tuna, salmon, avocado, spicy mayo, and tempura crunch. Again, we both really enjoyed this roll, as it had a great combination of flavors and textures, along with just the right amount of heat from the spicy salmon, mayo, and jalapeno. We were also super impressed that both rolls contained a decent amount of fish - RuYi uses very little filler in their rolls, letting the fish take the starring role.

Check out this fun video that shows how they construct the Fire Keeper's Roll... I'd be happy to welcome them into my house for a daily reenactment. ;-)

Our third and final specialty roll of the afternoon was the Lovers Roll: scallop, spicy tuna, cooked shrimp, avocado, and mango sauce. The road to my heart is paved with scallops and avocado, and Diana's route also includes a healthy dose of mango, so it felt as though this roll was custom made just for us.

We both triple heart loved this cutesy delicious roll!

Finally, Chef Ho brought out this amazing Sashimi & Sushi Platter. Again, as with all of the rolls, everything on this platter was perfectly fresh and came in such a gorgeous arrangement - talk about a showstopper! When it comes to sushi in the Midwest, RuYi is right up there with the best of them; the quality of the fish, the presentation, and the excellent service combine for an outstanding experience.

As with our last visit, Diana and I both loved everything about our stay at Potawatomi - the food, drinks, and hospitality were completely on point (we even managed to win a little at the casino!) and we can't wait to go back for another round. Seeing as its only an hour and a half drive from the city, there's no excuse not to head up to Milwaukee to explore more of the Midwestern foodie scene... and when you do, make sure you plan to stop for some fantastic sushi at RuYi.  

You can try all of this deliciousness and more at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino: 1611 W. Canal St., Milwaukee, WI.


  1. wow that sushi looks SO good! i stayed there once but didn't eat at ruyi. i will next time!!!

    1. It's definitely worth trying! Make sure you request the sushi menu when you go in - there are two separate menus.

  2. Great photos, good enough to eat! Sounds like a fantastic trip!

    1. Thanks, Mindy! RuYi is definitely a great stop - their sushi is some of the best I've had in the Midwest.

  3. Hello, nice to meet you! I come here from Instagram.
    I am a Japanese, so I also like Sushi very much!
    Sushi in your country is very beautiful and fantastic!

    I like your food photo very much!

    1. Nice to meet you! :-) Thanks so much for the feedback -- I would love to try sushi in Japan!

  4. I would love to have Fire Keeper's Roll.

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