Soo Kee ‘nan’.

The territorial westerlies and easterlies winds came and gone. Nothing much have been heard since then about coming together for gatherings or feastingsemoticon

We, the Hainanese clan felt a need to gather together. Most of us may have forgotten to speak the dialect. This is an opportunity to share our cultures, to improve our dialect before it goes into extinction!

We have Hokkien karoeke mooted by Terence and waiting to get off the ground. Why not having the Soo Kee ‘nan’ get together. An initial plan is just to meet up and discuss ideas. Maybe get someone to teach how to cook Hainanese Chicken rice or visit to our motherland in Hainan!emoticon

There is so much to do and share and we invite contributions from fellow Soo Kee ‘nan’. To start off, let’s get those keen to participate come together for a lunch gatherings to get it going.

Date: November 29, 2008 (Saturday)

Venue: Kim Moh Restaurant, 5000F Marine Parade Rd #01-22 Singapore. Tel: 64428900

Time: 12.00pm

Those coming:

  1. Dan
  2. Joy
  3. Douglas
  4. Boon Liang
  5. Freda and cousin?
  6. Grace Kok
  7. Geok Suan
  8. Alan Bok
  9. Ann Bok
  10. Ann Giri
  11. Frank kaw
  12. Ivan Lim

Dan & Joyemoticon


Click here for photos

124 thoughts on “Soo Kee ‘nan’.”

  1. Hi Becky,

    Your comment is under moderation.

    How come we can see what has been written ?
    Terence, could you pls. enlightend us ?

  2. Hi Becky,

    Your comment under moderation, strange if you are not registered how come you can make a comment here!

    I can’t help you here but I am sure Caroline or Gwyneth or Michelle could offer some advice.


  3. Hello Danz!
    I overlooked your posting of 12 Dec.
    Perhaps a date just before or during the CNY will be more convenient to most members. I love to know more about the traditional or customary practices throughout this Spring festival.
    Please keep us posted on any firm arrangement.
    Have a great holiday ahead!

  4. Hi Frank,

    Glad to get a chance to meet you and really get to know you. I am looking forward to our next meeting.

    To all the Soo Kee nan,

    Respond have been poor for our meeting on December 27, 2008. I guess the end of the year and the festive moods may have kept all of you busy.

    I decided to cancel the meeting and set another date next year hopefully in Michelle’s place. Will keep you posted!

    Here wishing all SHCians a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

    Dan n Joy

  5. Danz & Joyz
    It’s nice meeting you – the organisers, and others at the last Hainanese lunch party (29 Nov)thus giving me a rare opportunity to polish up my dialect speaking, of course with the kind, friendly help of the “pedigree” members like your goodselves, Ivan, Alan, Douglas, Andrew and the charming ladies.

    The event was both interesting and informative, at least to me, on Hainanese culture, tradition, roots and value, and I now eagerly look forward to attending such functions in future. It’s really good to regularly interact with each other for common bonding as I believe the Hainanese people is a closely knitted minority community/society, and steep in patriotism particularly the older generation.

    I am contactable on email: or for large files.

    My warm regards to all soo kee members and others, and have a great holiday ahead. Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.


  6. Hi Ivan, Boon Liang and Grace,

    Glad all of you have a good time. Let’s look forward to our next session!

    Richard Koh, hope you can join us the next round. Those coming for the potluck do indicate yout interest here and let’s us know what you intend to contribute.

    The venue is not found yet. Not to worry, we may just have a potluck picnic at East Coast beach.

    The photos shall be uploaded on the post soon!

    Danz for Joy

  7. Dear Dan and Joy,

    Thanks for having me at the luncheon. Have thoroughly enjoyed the sharings and food as well as getting to know other SHC members. Look forward to next meeting. Hopefully timing for kids’ program will not clash with planned potluck.

    Grace Kok

  8. I miss out the Nov 29 meeting as I am on business trip and I sure love to join this clan.
    Remember we use to be the most cohesive dialect in all the chinese dialect….

  9. Hi Ivan,

    Sorry I assume that my email address is reflected each time I made a comment. It seems not the case. Only I could see it but not all of you.

    My email is ‘’


  10. I’ve enjoyed very much our first “Clan” gathering, thanks to Dan for organising this little Soo Kee lunch. Hope to have Ah Mai Caroline, Michelle & Gwen joining us in the next time. I’ll have to miss the 27/12 date as I ‘ve already had an appt. See you guys the next gathering in 2009.

  11. Hi Soo Kees,

    Glad all of you had a good time! I wasn’t able to join in but will try to next year. I will be in motherland on 27th Dec.

    I will try to meet up on 17th Dec at Hans.

    Gwen, folks back home still use ‘original’ characters ie. no short forms like we do here.

    For the photos, one suggestion is you can upload them to flickr (under Yahoo) or picasa (under google), so save you the hassle of emailing to individual email addresses where you are most likely to encounter quota problems.


  12. Hi Dan,

    Thanks for organising the 1st Soo Kee Nan Lunch Gathering. For the photos taken, could you please post it here or email them to me? Have email 3 pics to your starhub email but all bounced due over-quota……

    Have emailed Freda also. But for the rest of the group, I do not have their emails. So, please do the honour and assist to circulate/forward the pics. Thanks……

  13. Hi Michelle

    Cannot write so ‘chim’ chinese character. I am very poor in chinese character. Know only very basic chinese. Dont read chinese paper. already all given back to teacher. Anyway will try to seek help from my colleague.

    So many hanainese around, there is still hope hor.
    Thanks Michelle for offering the help.

  14. We have a good start to our first Soo Kee nan gatherings. Full attendance with two surprise guests. Glad that Andrew Koh could join us too!

    Out of the 15 who came, 4 are associate member. Each of us were given a chance to introduce themselves. Frank Kaw and Andrew, Douglas and Ivan and Boon Liang we got to know you better. So are Alan and Ann.

    Freda, this is the first time you meet up in a SHC meeting, we welcome you and thank for sharing with us – another mahjong kaki! Ann Giri, sorry you got lost and only turned up when all the foods are finished. Fortunately there is still their famous beef noodle for you to order.

    The funny thing is some of us still carry their childhood photos with them. It’s was hilarious to know how we look when we were young, Joy even showed her topless photo!

    Not to forget our associate members. Grace Kok, Geok Suan, Lin Chuah and Shirleen we are glad all of you could join us for the fun and also learning some Hainanese dialect!

    Our next meeting is a pot luck on December 27 (Saturday) at 12.00pm.

    Michelle, will you be back by this date? Otherwise we like to know else could open their home!

    Dan and Joy

  15. Hi Michelle #100

    Went down to Purvis St to check out ‘jin deh’ this evening.

    Had mutton soup ($8)and chicken for dinner at the said coffee shop facing the beef noodles shop. Found muttom soup too herby tasted and there was no bamboo shoot :( not to my liking. Mutton soup is only served on Fri,Sat and Sun.

    The service staff at the next coffeeshop said that their muttom soup has bamboo shoots,hmmmm, will have to check this out next time. I tried their freshly cook ‘yi buah’ (80c each) it taste authentic to me. I had 2 at one go as it was nice, yummy yummy.

    Both coffee shop confirmed that no one sells ‘jin deh’, the person who sold ‘jin deh’ had gone back to China, so ah kor ah mai, no ‘jin deh’ for tomorrow’s gathering.

    Hi Dan #103

    ‘jin deh’ are served during happy and auspicious occasion, eg: offering prayers, marriage or baby moon month and me to add more: happy gatherings hahaha.


  16. Gentle Reminder!

    We are booked for lunch at Kim Moh Restaurant at 12.00pm tomorrow! Hope to see all of you who have signed up.

    We are also expecting some surprise guests!

    Douglas, what the significance of the ‘jin deh’?


  17. Hi Gwyneth #99

    Maybe Michelle could help you on this as she may be in Hainan next month.

    Hi Michelle #100

    Thanks for the infor, I may buy the ‘jin deh’ for this Sat’s get together if there are open early in the morning. I think its appropriate that we have ‘jin deh’ for this occasion

  18. Hi Soo Kees / Douglas #41,

    I had my beef noodles for lunch at Purvis Street just now. Realised that the coffee shop that sells the jin deh and the yi buah is directly opposite this Hock Lam Beef Noodles shop. The mutton soup here is typically Hainanese – worth trying.

    I had a walkthru along Seah street looking for the medical hall to buy the herbs for mutton coup recommended by Caroline. The ‘Chiam and Ngiam Clan” and “The Hainanese Association” are there too. Then the ‘Lau Swee Kee Chicken Rice” is just at end of Seah Street which is opposite the Bras Basah Complex. I bought the herbs which costs $12 consists of a small packet of 28 types of crushed herbs which is supposedly a trade secret. Additionally are dang shen, wolfberry seeds, red dates, wai san, huang qi. I find it rather expensive. Its enough for 1kg of meat only.

    Anyway, the Hainanese coffee shop get the herbs from here to cook the mutton. So, you have it!


  19. Hi Ivan & Douglas

    You two have good hainanese knowledge of the district in Hainan. For what i can remember I am from ‘moon sio kwai’, district “Kwai nam see”. Can find it on the map of Hainan?

    Do you know where is ‘mah haw see’?
    All these very deep hainan words – aiyo spelling also hard.

  20. Michelle #97,

    As sure as the sun rises from the East and you being a Hainanese bearing the surname LIM (i.e. Qiu Long Yi Jia or Qiu Long Tang), we will be related. The only grey area will be whether it’s a close or a very distance relation from the lineage of branches on the SAME tree……….

    If I give you my late oldman’s name, my name and my son’s name (written in the Chinese Characters), I am very sure that you will find it listed in the LIM Family Tree Registry in Tiok Kay Swee, Hainan Island…..this is like as sure as the sun sets in the West everyday……..”no horse run”!

  21. Hi Ivan,

    Douglas is right. Folks back home are extremely helpful. If you need help, do pass me the info at the next monthly meeting at Hans. Write it in chinese characters. Maybe include your forefathers’ names and yours as well so that they can associate.

    Wenchang and Boon Sio Kuai is my ancestral home too, but dont surprise me that you are from the same roots as me. Hahaha!!


  22. Hi Douglas,

    Thanks! OK, now at least I know in which order the location should be said (Moon Siok Kuai, Peh Yen See, Tiok Kay Swee) ….. Bo Kai Leah, Kor!

  23. Hi Ivan

    From what you have given, I think its easy for you to find your ancestral village.

    The names you have given are names uttered by olden generation.

    Most likely you are from wengchang county or ‘moom siok’ district and the big town is ‘wee boon’. the town nearest to your village is: ‘Peh Yen see’. and your village name is Tiak Kay Swee.

    You can ask anyone in ‘Peh Yen see’ to direct you to ‘Tiok Kay Swee’ They will be very glad to show you the way.

    You can also send letters to your relatives from the names given. Most people knows who is who in the village or who is who from another village, this is because of our family name. All the Lims would live in one village.

    Village houses don’t have numbers like we have here.

    Hope that helps

  24. Michelle #86 and All,

    Here it goes in Hainanese, my late father’s ancestral household location is/was:

    “Peh Yen See, Moon Siok Kuai, Tiok Kay Swee.”

    Hope to get this translated into a meaning address to read it off the Hainan Island map. It may be too big an area to pin-point the exact location but what to do? That’s all I know. Please assist. Thanks! (…. Still trying to locate where that Family Registry/Booklet gone to….)

    As for my mother’s side ancestral household location, I do not have any clues at all but her surname is Goh.

  25. Hi Soo Kees,

    This thread seems like a daily bread to me now.

    Gwen, agree, this is our secret weapon – very effective in its written form, the Hainanese morsecode! I do speak but without the strong accent.

    Dan, yes, I will take more pictures this time round and put them on the web for all to see, to make you guys lau nuah.

    You have chosen a date that I love most as I will be celebrating my birthday in China!

    Dont improve your Hainanese too fast though. Keep some for laughter!


  26. Michelle,

    We will miss you this round. Next round we look forward to your sharing with us your experiences when you are back from a visit to Hainan.

    Caroline, the pot luck date is tentatively December 27, 2008 (Saturday) Hope this date is okay with most of us.

    I have made booking for this Saturday lunch for 13 pax. Please confirm your attendance. Parking charge at Kim Moh Restaurant is $1.00 per entry.

    I look forward to improving my smatterings of Hainanese dialect. As long as we get across the message we wish to convey we can get away with it. So come and be prepared to laugh until you pengsan!


  27. Hi all

    Wow! I suddenly seem to be bombarded with a Hainanese experience.

    Firstly with Dan, who spouts Hainanese phrases that send us into stitches.

    Secondly, my family and I attended the 45th Anniversary Celebration Lunch of the Singapore Chuang & Ngiam Clansmen’s Association today at the invitation of my elder brother, who is the Association’s legal advisor. I noticed that everybody on the Committee is much older than he and many of the 250 guests or so are elderly. Wonder what will happen to the Association in 10 years’ time.

    And this Saturday, we have our very own Soo Kee lunch. See you soon!


  28. Hi Michelle

    I think i have not spoken to you yet. Cant really visualise how your face look like hehe!!

    Sorry, am i right?. Must see and talk to you leh. Guess you speak good german too!! Let’s practice together.
    See u at the meeting. Make sure we use this lingo when we next meet, others dont understand, fun ya.


  29. Gwyneth

    I wonder if the goi tai tin is the same type of leaf that grandmas grind into the unpolished rice. Yes, I heard about the goodness of eating it.

    Its nice to have friends speaking the same lingo. I practise my Hainanese with my eldest and third sister. With my other sisters, its in English. My second sis’s daughter was taken care of by my mum so she speaks Hainanese well. Sometimes if we do not want our colleagues to know what we are saying, we use Hainanese heee!

    Dan you were not around when we came but I got the chance to speak with Michelle, Helen and Alan Bok. They are all good at it.

    Get the date first and then we can work out the venue and the menu :)

    Have a great weekend everyone.

    Warmest Regards
    Caroline Gee

  30. Hi Ivan #85,

    It may be a little tough for you. Luckily for you though, those guys back home hardly change house like we do here.

    Do they have any of your family’s photos especially those of your parents?

    My dad would always keep them updated on family happenings re: new borns / deaths / weddings, thru letters and photos.

    Firstly, we wrote to them to get their contact no. Then with the help of relatives (cos we werent familiar with their road maps), we arranged to meet up with photos and letters in hand. Those guys recognised the same pictures my dad sent them and so the most touching moment came …..

    Ivan, try to find a starting point. Give me your location address and see if I can get any help from the guys back there.

    So, see you on 29 Nov.


  31. Michelle #80,
    Lucky for you that you still have some old letters to co-relate and locate your ancestral household. I have nothing. Literately, NOTHING. My oldman passed away some 45 years ago and my mum, she got the bad luck of that early old-age disease some 40+ years ago …. she could not remember a thing! I only know how to say my oldman’s ancestral household/place/location in Hainanese. Have not translated this place/location into any meaningful address to read it off the map yet. Hope to get this done at our Lunch Gathering. At least, that’s a starting point for me …. and hopefully if some Soo Kee folks who have visited the same district/streets will be able to pin point the location to me on the map. From there, hope to deduce the Longitudes and Latitudes. Deploying google earth, hope to view this location from the comfort of my desktop computer…….ya, even before stepping foot on Hainan Island…..see you for lunch on 29Nov.

  32. Hi Michelle, Caroline,

    I was not able to chat with both of you as I left early last Tuesday at the gatherings. Having the pot luck in January may be an issue with the Chinese new year round the corner. I suggest we fix a date for the pot luck?

    So far we have about 13 pax coming for the lunch on November 29, 2008. I am sure all of us have our experiences to share and trying out our lingo on one another. It will be a time of fun and hilarity trying to understand each others!

    Gwyneth, though the idea of who speak better is good, let’s get through the hurdles of trying to understand one another first. I foresees that it will be like a hainanese Toastmaster meeting where everyone will be given a chance to speak.

    Geok Suan, we got to meet at the last monthly gatherings, see you for lunch on November 29.


  33. Hi Michelle & Caroline

    #80 81
    Your spelling of goi dai tin is damn cute. When i read it i really have a good laugh, remembering how as a young girl use to speak these word. We have it growing all over the hillslope next to our home and the neighbours will come to pluck it for cooking. Heard it is a good cure for high blood pressure. After so many donkey years heard of it again in this thread. It makes me feel so nostalgic and of the wonderful time we had in our old kampong home in Bukit Timah.

    Must really meet up with all of you to speak our lingo again and see who speaks better. Can have a competition with hainanese words see who can remember the words, speak good/better hainanese. Andrew, Caroline i know both of you can beat me to it. Andrew, we spoke and belong to the same kampong of ,Hainan Island. Actually i feel it is real fun speaking our german dialect.

    Till we meet again -soo kees

  34. Hi Soo Kees

    Michelle, thanks for the plant. I have put that into the soil and hopefully it grows.
    I love those liang woon that we eat with the brown sugar and coconut milk. But my mum called it “too woon” – made from some root. I think the one with koi tai tin is the buah kia with brown sugar and coconut milk too and it is eaten hot but the too woon is eaten cold. Both are yummy.

    Hope the pot luck thingy will happen soon.

    Warmest Regards
    Caroline Gee

  35. Hi Soo Kees,

    Dan and all, nice meeting some of you but still cant match names to faces, hahah, except Dan’s and O’Carol’s.

    Let me know of the date as CNY is round the corner too. Carol and I had briefly discussed this that evening.

    Talking of retirement in Hainan was one of the hot topics I heard of. The whole irony is our forefathers travelled all the way to Num Eoh (Nanyang) and now we are thinking of returning for good.

    In fact, many Singaporeans as usual snapped up many of those new condos. There’s no market for rentals and unless you live there else you won’t know what will become of your new homes. Hotels are pretty cheap there and in fact, living in hotels is not a bad idea too. ‘Exotic’ services are also readily available and you can find flyers pushed under your hotel room door.

    Ivan, just do a Google search to get what you want. Here’s one at

    Muah Chee is very soft whereas utt buah not so and offers more bite. I remembered my favourite ‘liang hoon’ taken with gula melaka syrup and coconut milk is simply indulging. Another is like the mi tai bak but made with leaves from a vine known as ‘goi dai tin’ (chicken shit leaves – hahaha!!). Had these in my childhood days.

    Ivan, we had a hard time locating our ancestor’s home. Since my father passed away 25 yrs ago and my mom was bedridden with stroke, she neither could talk nor eat for the past 12 years. We siblings were left with just some old letters. With their blessings and help from some relatives in Qiong Hai, we managed to locate and contact them. Even the road and ‘district’ names were changed! Last year was our first meeting with our ancestral household. Somehow, Ivan, if there’s a will, there’s a way.


  36. Hi Joy,

    The utt buah that you made seems like the local muah chee except that it is coated with fine sugar and crushed peanuts. Maybe a Hainan ah kor or ah mai from way back then decided to give the original recipe a new twist.

    However continue learning from your parents and then you can contribute towards the pot luck gathering!

    Wee Chin

  37. Hi Michelle,

    Finally get to meet you at the gathering yesterday. Thank you for opening your home for our first pot luck gatherings. We will decide on a date when we meet for lunch on November 29, 2008.

    Frank Kaw, glad you are joining us for lunch!

    Douglas, we are waiting to hear from you about retiring in Hainan.

    Ivan, look forward to meet you for lunch too. I agrees that we should take the opportunity to meet each others.


  38. Dan,
    Pls include me for the 29Nov lunch gathering at Kim Moh. Doesn’t matter to me even if the food at other joints are better …. it’s the Getting-To-Know-Each-Other that I am interested in.

    Dear all,
    Btw, anyone has a comprehensive map of Hainan Island in hand? Just wanted to find out where exactly was my late father’s house etc….bcos I have never been to Hainan Island yet to date….sorry to disappoint some Soo Kee folks here about this……

  39. Dear Dtar Kee Nang

    I learnt how to make the utt buah from my dad and mum yesterday afternoon. It is quite like the tang yuan in that it is made of glutinous rice. But instead of the filling inside, the flat glutinous cake is coated with grated coconut cooked in gula melaka and sesame seeds.

    Will see what else I can learn in the weeks to come.


  40. douglas chan #29: Migrating to Hainan Island aka Hawaii of China…… I am interested to know what and how is it like to retire in China.
    Bdw, any teochews and hokkiens here know anything about the upcoming condo call “Kim Wah” in Sau Ann?


  41. Good Morning all soo kees,

    I agree with Andrew #71…..about Kim Moh and yes I heard about My Mum’s Cuisine at the Paragon but did not know it’s a hainanese restaurant. Just a suggestion (since I am still limping) if the majority can’t make it on the 29th Nov why not move it to a later date?


  42. Hi All Soo Kees,

    I’m waiting to meet all of you at tomorrow’s gathering!

    Having potluck is a good idea. You are all welcome to my humble abode at Senkang. Will be next year since I will away in December. See if I can bring back some authentic goodies back home for all to try.

    Meanwhile, we can work out some recipes genuinely Hainanese. Chicken rice is no problem to me but I will need Caroline’s help to magically turn them into balls.


  43. Hi Soo Kee Ah Kor (Andrew Koh),

    We do appreciate the trouble you took going to the various Hainanese Restaurant and tasting out the foods. As we decided on Kim Moh Restaurant, we will stick to it and hope to try out for ourselves. Really it a time for gatherings and getting to know each others.

    Glad that you can join us for lunch, I am sure that we can learn from each others. We can still look forward to our pot luck session. Since the hainanese cuisines out there are quite disappointing, we shall have each member to contribute some dishes.

    This is also an opportunity for us to tap on our parents’s experiences in cooking Hainanese dishes. Certainly it shall be a challenge for all of us to source out authentic hainanese delicacies!

    Caroline, Douglas and Freda, Gwyneth and Michelle, Joy and the rest of the Soo Kee ‘nan’, what have you folks in mind to contribute?


  44. Hi All Soo Kees,

    I just came back and was pleasantly surprised with this post. I am a Hainanese and speak Hainanese. We are a small community and it is a good idea that we get together and know each other better otherwise, we don’t even know we are of the same dialect. Unfortunately, I haven’t been back to Hainan Island due to my busy schedule. In fact a trip was planned to go back but due to unforseen circumstances, have to cancel at the last minute. My mother have been back a few times.
    Because of this post, I decided to go on a Hainanese food trail this Sunday. For lunch, I went to Kim Moh but was disappointed with the food. I went there a few years ago.
    and I remembered the food was very much better. The pork chop came dry without any sauce. The chap chye is also different from what I knew. I understand they changed the cook. For dinner, I went to My Mum’s Cuisine at the Paragon. It is a Hainanese restaurant serving Hainanese cuisine and other food. The boss Diana told me that all their cooks are Hainanese and she also speak good Hainanese. To test how good they are, I asked for the Hainanese Mutton Soup, which is a good indicator of how good they are. The soup came in a clay pot but unfortunately, it was mild and there was a lack of certain ingredients. I remembered the actual Hainanese Mutton Soup
    came with goat’s meat and with a lot of herbs. The best I had was served during a kampong wedding many years ago and they even slaughtered a goat for the soup. I told Diana of this and she went to the kitchen to tell the cooks that the soup was mild. Their excuse “just cooked”. She told me that their Hainanese Pork Chop is very popular. Hua Yu Restaurant along Upper East Coast Road also serve Hainanese Mutton Soup but I understand lately they have stopped serving this dish. They also serve their famous beef steam boat plus other seafood dishes. Looks like we cannot find real authentic and delicious Hainanese food anymore.
    I would love to join you all on Nov 29 if I can make it. Looks like I have to arrive in Singapore earlier than usual and rush to join you all for lunch. I hope to practice my Hainanese with all the sook kees. Tentatively, count me in.

    Andrew Koh

  45. Hi Caroline,

    Wow, so many recipes been discuss and shared here. Definitely the next clan gatherings will be pot luck. Let’s fix a date to meet in a home, any volunteer?

    Once the home is confirmed, we can open up for suggestions on who is conributing what dish? Do let your creative juices flows!

    I have not even tried hainanese mutton soup yet, really look forward to the 29th November.

    Gwyneth, join us if you are able and let’s all learn to improve on our mother’s tongue!


  46. Hi Danz & Joyz

    Really this is an interesting thread. After the discussion you really get it started. Wow! all the ah mai and ah ko speak real good hainanese. Caroline, Danz and Boon Liang we use to speak our lingo, guess u all can judge my standard of hainanese, need lot of practice too, whenever i have the apportunity I do speak with my colleagues when we meet in the course of our work or in the lift. I do have a good number of hainanese in my office, lucky me, can still speak and use the language.

    Do any of you do meet any hainanese with the surname Lee. I have yet to meet one, being one myself.

    Danz – sorry may not be able to attend the lunch cause have a dinner meeting up with friends whom i met in my Japan trip to share our photos and for chi chat.
    Will let you know later, can? If able to make it to the lunch than it have to be a light one.

    Keep up the good hainanese ties!

  47. Dear Ah Ko, Ah Mai, Peh Deh, Peh Nin (last four words I learn from Joy Chuang #50)

    Ivan #21, Lilian Koh #55,Ann Giri #64, Dan #65………

    My hainanese sucks too and is a mixture of Cantonese, Hokien and Teochew, very difficult for the pure hainanese to understand me. See u guys 29 Nov n hopefully begin using the language with my children whenever the opportunity arises, because they too do not speak/understand a single word of Hainanese.

    Cheers and have a well rested weekend

  48. Douglas Ah Koh

    My mum does not put banana flowers in tup sai because we dont like that. However, I know that Hainanese in Hainan will stir fry the stems of the yam leaves.

    I know how to squeeze those rice into balls. Its quite difficult because you have to do it while the rice is still hot and you squeeze with all your might because the rice ball must not fall apart and crumble when you bite into it.

    Bamboo shoot is a must in mutton soup.

    Helen – you dont want to know what are @#*%##@ that I will teach Ivan. But if you really want to know, then I will tell you in private.

    I will try to type out the recipe soon. My computer at home is dead so no communication at home.

    Wow this is getting exciting. I did not know we have so many soo kee in SHC.

    Good job Danz and Joyz.

    Have a great weekend everyone

    Warmest Regards

  49. Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for the link, I learn a lot of our Hainanese history from them. The Hainanese Association you mentioned probably cater to our older generation.

    I just found out that the Hainanese community was the largest in the Middle Road area. Middle Road, Purvis Street and Seah Sreet were known as Hainan First Street, Hainan Second Street and Hainan Third Street.

    Ngiam Tong Boon, a Hainanese bartender working at Raffles Hotel concocted a gin tonic called ‘The Singapore Sling’ in 1915. More info from the link given by Michelle!

    Freda and Ann Giri, see you at the lunch gatherings?


  50. Mine, mine, the chatter is getting pretty loud, and I am excited about this… mainly to find out my family tree. I am a Hainanese too, except that my Mother is not, and so my lingo sucks… can speak, but I guess painful to the ears of true blue Hainanese.

    My Father died many, many years ago, and my Mother is now unable to give any history lesson unless its imaginary. Hope Soo Kees don’t mind this “fringe” person stepping in.

  51. Hi Carol Ah Mai #59

    boh kai lat

    Tup Sai should also include banana flowers and young banboo shoots for mutton soup. when was the last time one eats koi bui chen.

    Ah Mai, boh jung kar Ivan #@%#*&$#@??? when you meet him.
    Most Hai Nam Nan boh kong jua kai wai.

    Helen Ah Mai #62

    Would check ABC hawker centre and hopefully its the same type of mutton soup that is cooked by Hai Nam Nan


  52. Dan

    Hainan Island trip 6-7 days would be just nice because of hometown visiting. Hope we can cover the 3 places (Haikou, Sanya and Xinglong). Mid February is okay for me.

    Caroline – I enjoyed this thread very much and would like to know what are those symbols you were trying to tell Ivan.

    Douglas – I know there is a popular mutton soup at ABC hawker centre (Alexandra Road) which is quite crowded. Not sure if they are cooked by Hainanese.

    Stay healthy after such rich mutton soup.


  53. Dan #53 – No I won’t be limping my way to the SHC monthly meeting on the 18th however I will certainly try to meet you guys at Kim Moh? Or Chin Chin Or Mooi Chin?

    Caroline #59 – Could u copy me the Mutton Soup recipe too? ( Like you I “agar agar” n wrote the recipes for a fren overseas and even had someone handcarry the herbs but it did not turn out well.


  54. Thanks, Caroline.

    My email:

    Some more for the menu:
    Ginger Dip, Coriander leaves dip (This is what I learnt from my sis-in-law from Hai Num Dao married my brother).

    I remembered this dish my mum cooked before.
    Kiam Wu Hao with tah tiang yoke and tow wu
    (Braised salted fish head with 3layer pork and big square water toufu. And old ginger in it)

    Yummy. But not sure if its Hainan dish. You can try it out. Just dump all in and cook til soft.


  55. Hahaha Michelle, you are spot on about the soot pan tat heee!

    Can you give me your email add then I send you the recipe.

    OK Douglas, if Ah Mai cook mutton soup, I will send out signal to the Ah Koh, Ah Mai, Beh Deh and Beh Nin to come and try.

    Ivan, I will teach you all the #@%#*&$#@??? when I see you.

    Also, I noticed that the menu is not Hainanese simple fare leh. Sori kaypoh not going also comment.

    Must have tup sai (Mixed veggie – Hainanese one must have the dried Lily stalk called kim chiam), io ho (mutton soup), goi bui (chicken rice – must use lau goi bo – old hen), pok chiap(pork chop)- thats how my mum used to pronounce it, beh tat utt buah, buah kia etc. Translation for Ivan’s benefit.

    Warmest Regards

  56. Hi Soo Kees,

    Anyone members of the Hainan Association Kheng Chiu Hwee Kuan? I remembered some years back there were organised trips back to motherland plus other programmes too.

    For me and my siblings, we always book budget tickets from ‘lau hou’ airways (tiger airways) and move about on our own, with the help from our relatives there.

    Update some history first from here:,_Singapore

    Ka ki Nang

  57. Hi Lilian,

    ‘Do ho bo Ah Mai’ That’s your first lesson in the Hainanese dailect! ‘Do who teh lei? That the 2nd lesson. ‘Do cha pa bo’ that the third lesson. Ha ha!

    Finally we got a Han here. Sad that you know no hainanese dialect though an ‘Ah mai’. Dun worry, there is hope here if you join us.

    Alan & Ann Bok, glad you could join us. We look forward to sharing with the rest of the ‘ka ki nan’. Btw, where do you hail from?


  58. Hi Ah Kor and Ah Mai,

    I am also a Kah Kee Nan but cannot speak Hainanese. My late father hailed from “Lim Ngor” county. Anybody knows where it is? My dad was seldom home as he owned a bakery shop in the Riau Island. My siblings and I grew up speaking Teochew as we were surrounded with Teochew neighbours. My surname is HAN. Would loved to join Nov 29 gathering but already booked for lunch.

  59. Hi Michelle #48

    Thanks, yummy yummy,will visit the kopi diam soon.

    Hi Freda #51

    Sorry, don’t have pictures of Weng Chiang beach as the background taken showns mostly coconut trees.


  60. Ivan, I will definitely pay them a visit first, thanks again for trying. I think most of us would prefer to meet over a simple meal.

    I will try to translate Joy’s rendition. ‘dun anyhow spend money, must save money, money hard to earn’! Indeed we are coming head on with a recession in the near future.

    Freda, look forward to meeting you. Are you coming for the monthly gatherings.

    Calling all the Hans, the Foos, the Chiams and the Ngiams where are you folks? Identify yourselves, we want to get to know you!


  61. Tx Ivan Lim, yr translation is very refine. Thank U to Michelle Lim too for yr effort to magnify that “unique”(butt) word.People always says in order to learn a language faster u got to learn their insanitary words as well;tradition die hard.

  62. Good evening ah kor and ah mai

    Dan #46 – Kim Moh restaurant is a small family business, the price is reasonable – so order alacarte and enjoy eating

    Douglas Chan #29 – my mum is from Weng Chang and I have heard about the beautiful sandy beach, do you have pictures of the sandy beach near your village??

  63. Dear Ah Ko, Ah Mai, Peh Deh, Peh Nin

    Wah, what is this I see here about bowels and butt ah…

    Alamak Ivan, we are planning to have a simple meal, not a 10 course lunch. As my mum and dad used to say, “Boh jiyong jyou jyou dai jea, sum soon jea, jea oer han.”

    Shall leave you all to figure what that is while I go and hoey.


  64. Dan #46,

    Have tried to get them to fax just the Hainanese Dishes/Specialty List with prices to me but they refused. For this, you have to go down to the restaurant personally to check it out …. perhaps they did not understand our intentions/purpose why we hope to be there……

  65. Hi Douglas #41,

    There are 2 kobi diams at Purvis Street. If you are coming from Shaw Towers, its the one that is furthest.

    All the bei dei and bei nin stall helpers speak hainanese there. You cant miss it.

    Caroline, understand agar agar also can. thx.

    The menu doesnt seem to smell much of Hainanese flavour


  66. Hi Ivan / Rosna,

    “Wu chi (got money) soot chi (contribute money), bo chi (no money) soot lard (contribute effort)”. Ah kor Ah mai : “Bo chi (no money) bo lard (no effort), soot mi di (contribute what) leh?”.

    So, “bo chi bo lard soot pan tat” means no money no effort contribute your butt!

    Correct, Caroline?


  67. Thanks Dolly for the tips. With the opportunity to work in Hainan and just came back from a holiday I am sure you are quite familiar with the places of interest in Hainan Island.

    Lily, where did you pick up so many Hainanese slang? Probably have a good number of Hainanese friend. i have problem understand the first part.

    Ivan, thanks for the menu list. I was hoping for our first encounter to have a simple meal but it seems we are having a feast.

    Hi Rosna, good to hear from you! Ivan did a good job with the translation.


  68. Rosna #44,

    “no chi no lard soot pan tat”

    HoHo! u dun really want to know! I think literately means:

    “No Monies, No Efforts, Go Clear Your Bowels!”

    Am I rite???

  69. This is a rare opportunity which i ever had.Even thoough this activity is targeting for the Hainanese group i can still get to pick up their language on this post.Needless to sign up for language course.Just write in Hanyu Pinyin and it’s translation will be enough for me.”no chi no lard soot pan tat”. What does it mean?

  70. Fredalim #31 and Dan,
    The set menu for 10 at Kim Moh Restaurant are as follows:

    Set A (S$278.00)
    1. Fortune Platter
    2. Thai Style Green Mango Chicken
    3. Hong Kong Style Steamed Sea Bass
    4. Salt Pepper Pork Ribs
    5. Crispy Prawns with Oats
    6. Honey Crispy Baby Squids
    7. Braised Mushrooms with Greens
    8. Seafood Ee Fu Noodles
    9. Dessert

    Set B (S$308.00)
    1. Fortune Platter
    2. Fish Maw Soup
    3. Almond Chicken with Orange Sauce
    4. Crispy Cereal Prawns
    5. Hong Kong Style Steamed Sea Bass
    6. Flambe Pork Ribs with Honey
    7. Braised Mushrooms with Greens
    8. Seafood Ee Fu Noodles
    9. Dessert

    Set C (S$328.00)
    1. Fortune Platter
    2. Braised Shark’s Fin with Crab Meat
    3. Crispy Roasted Chicken
    4. Pan Fried Prawns
    5. Hong Kong Style Steamed Sea Bass
    6. Flambe Pork Ribs with Honey
    7. Braised Mushrooms with Greens
    8. Seafood Ee Fu Noodles
    9. Dessert

    Set D (S$348.00)
    1. Five Fortune Platter
    2. Braised Shark’s Fin with Fish Maw and Crab Meat
    3. Crispy Roasted Chicken
    4. Braised Sea Cucumber with Mushrooms
    5. Pa Ting Fish
    6. Poached Fresh Prawns
    7. Flambe Pork Ribs with Honey
    8. Braised Ee Fu Noodles
    9. Dessert

    Set E (S$398.00)
    1. KIM MOH Platter
    2. Braised Shark’s Fin with Crab Meat
    3. Emperor Herbal Chicken in Lotus Leaf
    4. Crispy Cereal Prawns
    5. Hong Kong Steamed Soon Hock
    6. Three Treasures with Greens
    7. Dry Scallop with Braised Straw Mushrooms
    8. Seafood Spaghetti
    9. Dessert

    Set F (S$468.00)
    1. KIM MOH Platter
    2. Braised Shark’s Fin with Dry Scallop
    3. Thai Style Green Mango Chicken
    4. Hong Kong Style Steamed Soon Hock
    5. Abalone with Braised Mushrooms
    6. Pan Fried Prawns
    7. Sauteed Scallops with Brocolli
    8. Lotus Leaf Baked Fried Rice
    9. Dessert


  71. Caroline #28,
    Huh? In my opinion, I find the Hainanese dialect has very few words for vulgarity. It’s difficult to curse in this dialect unlike the canton style…! even the corpse will turned in the coffin.

    As for the rest;
    I have a hard time trying to translate the hainanese words written in many of the posts ….. cannot really make sense heads and tails about these …. guess all my hainanese vocab had gone with the wind already …. that’s how bad it has become!!!!

  72. Hi Michelle #38

    Alamak, where is this kopi diam that sells ‘chin deh’ I am dying to eat it leh,I have not seen it since Bugis Junction was created.

    Hi Caroline #39
    After you have cooked the muttom soup, can we go over and try it,

  73. Michelle, no problem about sharing the mutton soup recipe. But first, let me try cooking it and take down the weight of ingredients first. I did not write it down because I cook the “old school” style. A pinch of this, a dash of that, a thumb size ginger etc so everything is agar agar. If you dont mind the agar agar recipe, I can write it down for you.

    I think the original Nam Thong (I think this is the name) on Purvis St makes very good soo iam bia. So sad dont know where to get the good ones.

    Warmest Regards
    Caroline Gee

  74. Hi Soo Kees,

    The chin deh (the big ones like a basketball) can be specially ordered from hai num gee goi kopi diam, though not too sure about their standard. their so-called soo iam bia doesnt taste like the traditional ones anymore. However, the mutton soup sold there tastes like homecook ones.

    Caroline, pls share your mutton soup recipe – thanks.

    I will source some contributions from my brother on these. He seems to know more than I.


  75. Tun tong ta tin teh kong : “Wu chi soot chi, bo chi soot lard”. Ah kor Ah mai : “Bo chi bo lard, soot mi di leh?”. Sigh :(

    Wa bo ti hainam nan hor. Heee

  76. Dan, tks 4 c-ing me up up hor.. but I dun noe much abt Hainan ancestor’s homeland leh.. What I know is that if u going Hainan holiday, u must start the journey in this sequence lor.. ???? ???? ???? ????, meaning plc of interest will start wif Donghai Beach, Nanshan Cultural Tourist Area, End of the Earth and finally Dongshan Range for better luck lor… Dun miss out the Ah Gua show there also, much difference from Pattaya or Bkk evendoe it mite b abit expensive.

    No problem if all of u need corporate rate htl, I can help leh..

    Cheers.. Dolly

  77. Hi Freda

    Yes, thats the one. I like their curry puffs and cream puffs – the ones filled with custard. So yummy. Thats where the SJI boys and the CHIJ girls meet.

    My mum taught me how to cook the mutton soup too. I usually buy my herbs from the medical hall on Seah St – run by a Hainanese family.

    Douglas, its call “chin ndeh” – its a big crusty brown ball.

    Warmest Regards

  78. Nay, Dan, I aint a soo kee but my mother was pretty as suzie and when a baby, I was fed susu not soo kee or chicken rice which wd hv made me mati.

    nay again tat I was fr timbuktu. Dad left shangdung after his quarrel with maotzetung, met ah loong whise sister he married and oit caje a son the mahjong kakis call it pong hoong choong.

    Hilarious moments…………..sure, in yonder years of kampong living, you had toilet huts built outside of homes. It was very satisfying to throw fire crackers next to those nite soil pots when neighbours squatted and about to bomb. Their scream which sounded like a jet-fighter crashing, and the pandemonium inside are still something to relish…………..

  79. Hi Helen,

    Hope you have a pleasant holidays! We will meet as a clan the next time round. Let’s me check on the schedule for Hainan trip. Would 4 days or a week be better? Shall we target for February 2009. How about some feedbacks from those keen to visit our homeland?

    Kenneth, what you shared are pretty interesting. Tell us more, especially the Dings and the Dongs and what dialect are you?

    Caroline, sorry for the change of date, ‘meh oh mo Ah boon lo!’. Let’s hear from those keen to come, the closing date is November 17,2008.

    Douglas, good to hear from you. We have much in common, any plan to go back again. We really need to stick together during these hard times! The Hawaii of China, we heard you. All the more must plan for a trip. The air-fare i think is quite reasonable!

    Tim, for a moment I thought you are a ‘soo kee nan’! Must be from Timbuktu. Trust you to share some hilarious moment of your life with us. So, which homeland you hail from?

    Freda, don’t worry I will go down for a recce. Hope you and your cousin can join us. The date is set! We will have plenty of opportunities to visit Chin Chin and Mooi Chin. Before that, register him or her as a member. The policeman is prowling!


  80. Good Morning to all…….

    Dan = I have not been to any SHG outings as yet n wud love to bring my hainanese cousin who is visiting from Perth to join you guys if my heel permits! I went to Kim Moh once n although the food is good the ambience is very ordinary I just check d web, they do not have a website nor email, I rang Kim Moh Restaurant, tel 64428900, they can only fax us the set menu for 10, i don’t have a fax machine at home….. still meeting on 29 Nov??

    BoonLiang = What about Mooi Chin at Golden Landmark, what are their specialty?

    Caroline Gee = personally I prefer Western style stewed beef but my Aunty’s hainanese lamb soup is fantastically goooooooooooood. The (Red House) on Bras Basah Road, is this the one near CHIJMES…….CHIJ Town Convent School where all the students used to gather in the 70s?


  81. “……..I used to have extras or special food at the cookhouse, all because I speak the same language as the cooks. Those were the days”. Those days are as much alive today.

    Recently, I was in the Chinatown of Bkk and I spoke Teochew to a hawker selling from her trolley. I had more than what I asked for……..meat in more types than I ever imagined….succulent roasted beef and her following me back to my hotel showing meat of another kind. Getting it was easy but getting rid of her – nad her trolley – wasnt as, inexplicably, she became deaf to Teochew.

    Since this is a SK thread, I shant leave without saying smthg SK.

    We loved to pretend to be smthg big when we were kids. So my Indian butty growled and said he was kingkong. Ah Beng capped his eyes, jumped about and told us he was sumokong. Not to be out-done, little sook kee told us proudly that he was somehow related to the revered mad monk chikong, not the one waving a tattered fan but the new version in boots……….yes, boot-chikong…………………

  82. Hi Dan and all Soo Kees

    Please include me for the gathering on 29 Nov.

    Hainanese are clanish during my parent’s time. They look out for each other as those were difficult times.

    During my NS in late 60s, I used to have extras or special food at the cookhouse, all because I speak the same language as the cooks. Those were the days :)

    I am from Weng Chang county and Wee Boon is the nearest town from my village. My village is just a mins walk to the beautiful sandy beach. Yes, the beach has very fine sands. During low tide, villagers searched for clams. Had been there a few times and my name is registered in the village booklet. First time returnees are usually welcome with firecrackers and yummy dinners. The villagers are now much better off than some of us.

    Anyone thinking of migrating to Hainan Island aka Hawaii of China ?

    I love Hainanese food esp, pork chop, mutton soup and rice balls and Hainanese kueh. I miss one type of kueh that is like a big ball(chin Pau)


  83. Ivan

    You said you lost 90% of your ability to speak Hainanese. Hahaha I know what is the 10% that you still remember. Joke only can. I think they are those #%@*&%$#@??? kind of words right?

    Aiya Dan. You change date then I cannot leh. To mi jia jiang leh Ah Koh?

    Boon Liang Ah Koh, you must say Jee Goi not 2nd street heee! My father used to be a baker at the Ang Soo (Red House) on Bras Basah Road. Now you know where I got my genes from.

    Warmest Regards

  84. Wah!

    This is getting to be a gathering of the clan!

    My only close connection to the Hainan clan is that my bestman is a Hainanese.

    But the food….

    Anyway, the Peranakans are not a clan… we may be clique-kish but we’re really a hybrid. The roots are Hokkien and from Fukien province. So we can also trace our family roots back there for quite a few generations.

    What Ivan said about the family/clan registry has also a parallel with the Khoo clan of Penang. There, the Khoos (my mother is one) also have a long family registry and many descendants have travelled back there to put up their names. The common middle character name is used but I think it is limited to the particular family only. Unlike the Dings and the Dongs who hail from the Ding Dings! (Sorry for the diversion!)

  85. Dear folks

    I want to join for the Hainan Island trip.

    Dan, as for the clan outing on 29 November, I will miss it because of Chiangmai trip.

    Enjoy yourself and have a great time.


  86. Hi Peariynn,

    Thanks for the affirmations regarding the foods at Kim Moh Restaurant. i definitely will make a booking pending response from all the ‘soo kee nans’!

    Are you referring to Hainanese Chicken Rice? Let’s hope that the Hokkien clan, the Peranakan, the Teochew, the Cantonese clans will fluorish henceforth! Then this post will be full of interesting ideas and events being agonized throughout the island of Singapore! Pardon my bad singlish!


  87. Hi Dan,
    I am Tan – Hokkien. Food is 99% S’porean favourite pastime. I usually cooked Chicken Rice using Prima Taste paste & recipe. Restaurant @Laguna Park serve rather reasonable & nice food esp. Pork Chop. Its better to call to make reservation. Too bad, wont be able to join as goin for a cruise with family members. Have fun & enjoy.

  88. Hi Geok Suan,

    Welcome to the Hainanese Club. Yes, we are please to have you join us. Just bear with us if what we speak are gibberish to you. Though this is supposedly a hainanese clan get together, we are open to any one who want to join. In SHC we try not to form clique to the exclusion of others!

    For a start, join us at the Kim Moh Restaurant then you may share with your family, hor bo?


  89. Hi Soo Kees,

    I am a Lim but not an ah mai. I like to try Hainanese Food.Will I get lost amongst all the Soo Kees speaking Hainanese in the restaurant if I join you all for lunch or dinner you think? Hehehe.Maybe a good idea to get names of some dishes so that my family too can try. I’d appreciate a reply. Thanks.

    Geok Suan

  90. Dan #7,
    History teacher? folklores and tales? No, lah! Only heresay from my KL Uncle long time ago….

    Caroline #12 and Michelle #13,
    Was searching for the Hainanese LIM Register Booklet the whole day…could not find it. This booklet was given to me by our KL Uncle who got it from one of the County in Haina Island. This booklet shows the LIM generation tree and also the generation ranking. Without this I do not know which generation is TOW or SHI. Currently, I only remember KIA is before my generation and TAH is after.

    And to the rest:
    Ya, it’s been a long time since I last spoke Hainanese too. Although a full bred Hainanese, lacking practise results in a lost of 90% (if not 99%) of the Hainanese Vocab already. Don’t think that these vocab will just come back by speaking Hainanese for a day or two….most of time; I am stuck and lost of Hainanese words…. and my children? They do not even speak/understand a single word of Hainanese…although their Dialect group states Hainanese.

    And for food, I must confess that my lines are completely blurred as to what is actually Hainanese style/dishes apart from the Name/Label saying HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE!!!

    Regrets to say that we have lost a lot of our history along the way ….. quite a sad thing indeed but what to do?

  91. Hi Caroline,

    Don’t worry about the guided tour! I think Michelle, Ivan, Richard and Boon liang will be able to lead the upcoming tours. Otherwise we may adopt Dolly Lim to help!

    Thanks Michelle for the Sanya’s link and do have a pleasant trip and remember to share with us when you are back.

    Freda, don’t think we met but hope to see you in our first clan outing. Let’s have our first clan encounter at the Kim Moh Restaurant at Laguna Park on November 29, 2008 (Saturday) We meet at 12.00pm. Freda, do we need to do a booking? Sorry date change from December 6, 2008. Please give us a a show of hand if you can come! It’s only about three weeks away. Can you also get hold of the menu so that those coming may know the cost?

    Boon Liang, finally you showed up. Let’s meet and paint the town red! We will meet at Chin Chin and Mooi Chin the next time round. hor bo? Last time I was there it feels like being in Singapore about 40 years ago. There even plays mahjong by the roadside!

    My late father bought a piece of land at only $1.00 per square foot, just imagine it’s dirt cheap at that time. A house with 12 bedrooms was built. I stayed there once, and rent out subsequently. Now it stand empty and rotting! Maybe I should restored it again and use it as our guesthouse. Some of my relatives also built houses next to us, there should be ample rooms to stay when we all visit our homeland together!


  92. Hi Dan,
    Good job to bring our Hainan in SHC for a clan gathering. I would really love to meet our Ka Ki Nan.
    I was back to Boon Sang Si/Wee Boon, my ancestor village in Dec 2006. Visited Sanya, Haikou and many other places & yummy seafood.
    My very first…back hometown visit and was thrilled to light up the fire crackers…more crackers…those hour long crackers was deafening loud….since 40 over years ago.
    My Uncle(Bor Bow) has been running his Chin Chin coffee shop at Purvis Street (2nd St) behind Lim Clan Association bldg for more than 70 years now. It was formerly located from Seah St (3rd St) since my granfather who came to Singapore back than. Hei, we can have our first gathering here if my fellow ah Kor ah Mai are game for it.
    Caroline/Freda – Beside Kim Moh, Chin Chin…one more Mooi Chin now located at Golden Landmark Hotel and off course Swee Kee or rather the Old Swee Kee.
    Dan, you have arouse the Hainan Dragon of SHC, can’t wait to meet our Soo Kees, so bring it fwd a week earlier, say Jee Kow or Ta Tub/Tub Aik Guay.(29 or 30 Nov).


  93. Hi Freda

    Thanks for the info. Is that the restaurant famous for its stewed beef and some other dishes? I think I have been there but did not know its a Hainanese restaurant.

    Take care of your heels. There will always be another time.

    Warmest Regards
    Caroline Gee

  94. Dear all Ah Kor and Ah Mai

    Besides Purvis Street, I have gone to Kim Moh Restaurant, it’s a hainanese restaurant inside Lagona Park Condo at Marine Parade Road.
    I would love to join u guys on 6 Dec, however I have a prior appointment on that day and may not even make it too as I am suffering from heel pain from too much walking during my recent trip to the U.S.


  95. Hahaha Dan. Yes I am stumped. It sounds correct but I am not too sure because my mum used to recite all these to me and I just laughed because they are always so funny. I have some too but not all are complete. My mum is very good in this. A pity that I did not write them down. Too late :(

    For Hainanese fare, its usually home cooked so I dont know where we can have Hainanese food except Purvis Street.

    Talking about Purvis St, anyone knows where to buy “Soo Iam Biah” during the mooncake festival. The shop that used to sell it has closed down.

    Danz, I like pot luck so we can each do our specialty and share. How Soo Kees?

    Michelle, nice cool weather during December. Good time to go. See you on 18th Nov.

    Warmest Regards

  96. Hi Caroline,

    Do you know of any place in Singapore that served Hainanese cuisines? I am thinking of lunch at Purvis Street or pot-luck where all contribution are hainanese delicacies!

    Alternatively a picnic at the East Coast Beach. Wonder whether we have Hainanese karoke or rhymes and rhythm?

    Here a hainanese rhymes, ‘nan kong gu cho nia, do kong gu teh kia’, ‘nan kong gu cho siew, du kong gu puay chi’. Not sure whether the second part is correct? Ha, ha, you are stumped!


  97. Hi Soo Kees,

    Wow! How our family has grown overnight!!!

    Ivan, my brother middle name is ‘Tow’ and their sons ‘Shi’, followed by ‘Tin’. So which ‘grade’ am I? Your formula is very complicated, I cant follow.

    Dan, this 18 Nov is my first meeting with you guys and its good to know I already have a good ground of supporters … heeheheh!!

    Richard, thanks, I definitely will have a good trip come 20th Dec. Will be there for 14 days. Back on 3 jan 09.

    If you have not been there, you really really must make it at least once. The minute you step into the airport at Haikou, you IMMEDIATELY FEEL LIKE HOME!! Everyone speaks the dialect – at airport, market, hospitals, with taxi drivers, etc. Use it in place of English, like you do here.

    Nice talking to you all ka ki nang,


  98. Yes Joy. I love that too. The Ta Kak Lau is made from old bread and flour. Watched my mother make it but a pity I did not take down the recipe. The Bua Kia is also my favourite.

    Both my parents are Hainanese too.

    Ivan you are vey “cheem”. I think I better go and ask my aunts who are still around about my family history.

    I can only remember “Boon Sio”, “wee Boon”.

    Dan, dont count on me to be tour guide. I fly to Haikou and then my rellies come to pick me up to their village. Sometimes I stay at my father’s village and sometimes at my mum’s. I sleep in the kampong house with all the chickens cackling, pigs oinking and cows mooing but its really nice. And yes Richard, the veggies and fruits are organic. If you want me to lead you to tour the villages and eat roast pig, then no problem but if you want me to lead you all to places of interest or shopping, then I am not the one heee!.

    Hey this is getting exciting. Danz & Joyz, I have marked out the date for the gathering. Thanks

    Warmest Regards
    Caroline Gee

  99. Hi Wee Chin,

    Welcome ah mai to the clan! We will have ample opportunity to practice our lingo when we meet!

    Joy is from Boon Chang county too, look like some of us are from the same home town! Anyone know where is Wei Boon County or Sanya?

    Boon Liang, where are you? Tell us about Purvis Street, is this the place where all the Hainanese clan congregate?

    Richard Koh, we have not met but am sure you may hail from Boon Chang county too! Looking forward to our first clan meeting!

    We are sorry that a lot of you are wondering what this clan are doing creating havoc here. Don’t be envious, you can still be associate member if you are keen to speak hainanese!


  100. I am really glad that there is so many Ka Ki Nun here I personally went back to Hainan island three times already first with my parents then after that twice on my own and that is a long time ago and I guess the island have change a lot since. Michelle hope u have a good trip and enjoy……the country side the air is fresh and the food is really organic.

  101. Dear all Ah Kor and Ah Mai

    Wow wow! It is so exciting to hear from all of us.

    Caroline, I indeed remember the Beh Tat Utt Buah. Yummy yum yum! There is also the Ta Kak Lao and the Buah Kia.

    I just called my dad and said I want to learn how to cook these some day soon. My dad said how about this Sunday. I could hear my mum in the background giving instructions already. Such wonderful parents!

    My parents were from Boon Siang Kwai, Tin Keoh Xi, Dua Hei Buay Swee. Anyone else from there?

    Look forward to our gathering. I understand that we can only speak Hainanese at the gathering.


  102. Hi Danz & Joy,

    I have little opportunity to speak Hainanese other than to my parents. Have not heard much Hainanese spoken in public areas – bet we will turning heads if we all do it together!

    Michelle & Caroline ah mai, my mum is a Lim too.

    Wee Chin

  103. Hi Michelle,

    We have not get to know you but glad to know another ‘ka ki nang’. Thanks for sharing with us your last trip to Hainan Island. My grand parents also hailed from Wen Chang. I was back there about 10 years ago.

    Helen Wong, when we meet together how about speaking our dialect only? I am sure all of us may improve this way! Let’s see how many would like to make a trip to Hainan? Any idea which county you are from?

    Caroline, wow you been back there so many times. You could be our tour leader! Looking forward to your sharing with us some recipes. You must be well versed in the dialect, we all want to learn from you! I am not sure about the loudness but certainly there must be lot to share and laugh together when we meet.

    Ivan Lim, you are very ‘cheem’, imagine know how many generations ago you are going back to. Wish I remember from which genealogy we hailed from. We appoint you as our history teacher, so share with us all the folklores and tales! Tell us more about the Hainanese in Central Vietnam.

    Mr & Mrs Joseph Tan, welcome to the Soo Kee Club. Look forward to our meeting together. The date is set for December 6, 2008 for potluck or lunch. Will keep you all posted!

    Dan & Joy

  104. Am surpised to find that there are quite a few Hainanese in SHC. Well, “Nine Dragons One Family”. Hainanese bearing Surname LIM will know this history. Being from the fifth “dragon” lineage and my generation level/ranking/number is HENG. Do you know that just from our full names alone (if you follow the Hainanese LIM naming system), we will know how to address each other, whether senior or junior; nephew/niece, brother/sister, uncle/aunty, Grandma/Grandpa etc etc. And if I had not counted wrongly, my generation is the 128th generation from the 1st LIM. My son’s name is still tabled/registered with the Hainan Island County where our LIM forefathers resided. After the 132th generation, another peom consisting of 132 chinese characters will be written and here we go again with the Naming system for the next 132 generations of Hainanese LIM…..there were many stories passed down from my KL Uncle about our history but memories are fading as time goes by with us too caught up in this crazy rat race….
    There are also quite a few Hainanese in Central Vietnam…but that’s another story.

  105. Hi Soo Kees,

    Now its getting more exciting! I love the ‘whatever’ you call it. Its really, really shiok as bite into it! I love the coconuts, wen chang chicken and the ka chek duck there. You cant find anything close back home here.

    Oh yes, I speak pure Hainanese cos both my parents were hainanese. Sad to say, they are both no longer with us and thats we bro & sis go there to visit my father’s lau jia to fulfil their wishes.

    Hey, dont worry. We are not the only ones who are loud but definitely our loudness shows sincerity and warmth towards one another.

    Very warm regards,

  106. Hi Danz & Joyz

    Yes, I would love to participate in the Hainanese Clan party. Very good idea Danz & Joyz.

    Hey Michelle, I went to Wen Chang many times too. You are Lim and my mum was Lim too. She came from the “Longan Village” and I dont know the actual name of the village. Will find out more.

    Helen, we can practise our Hainanese together. As my mum lived with me until she passed on two years ago, I speak a lot of the dialect with her.

    I have been to Hainan Island about 6 times for prayers. I dont know about roasted pigs from other shops but the ones my cousin orders for me is so yummy! Talking about it makes my mouth water :)

    I can make the “beh tat utt buah”. Dont know if you all know what I am saying. Its this glutinous rice dough which we make into a circle and flatten it then we cook it in boiling water. When it floats, we dish it out and drain excess water then we roll it on dessicated coconut mixed with brown sugar. Some people will add a litte peanut or ginger to the coconut. I think Killiney Kopi Tiam sells them.

    Can’t wait for this get together to materialise. Hahaha Hainanese are known for their loud voices, I can imagine the amount of noise we will make heeee!

    Warmest Regards
    Caroline Gee

  107. Dear all

    I definitely speak Hainanese and proud to be one except that nobody speaks this dialect to me now after I lost my beloved parents in the ’90s.

    Very much want to visit Hainan Island and shall try if early Jan 09 works.

    Would love to join the Hainanese folks for get together.


  108. Hi Dan & Joy,

    Good to hear from ‘ka ki nang’. I am going to visit my father’s ancestral home this December.
    This will be my 2rd trip to Wen Chang and 3rd to Qiong Hai.

    You can get a feel of my 1st trip details in my blog My original blog was hacked but fortunately was able to salvage my post on Ancestral Home to this new blog.

    Michelle Lim

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