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December 12, 2023

SORA on Pirie Street set to fly sky-high

Rooftop bar, restaurant and entertainment venue, SORA, plans to open by mid-January.

  • Words: Claudia Dichiera
  • Pictures: Christina Toulanas

What sets SORA apart from its competitors, is that there isn’t anything like it in Adelaide.

That is, of course, according to SORA’s executive chef Adam Liston.


89 Pirie Street, Adelaide 5000

Slated to open mid-January 2024


“It’s just a unique space,” Adam says. “Not saying it’s better or worse than anything in the city… there’s only one or two places that I can think off the top of my head that are doing rooftop offerings.”

SORA is set to open in mid-January as a multi-purpose rooftop space serving food, drinks and entertainment.

Adam says there will be “a fair bit going on” across the venue’s two levels.

“Obviously got that restaurant side of stuff which is the engine room of that first level,” he says.

“Then that open kitchen which is going to have a separate offering, one at the beginning which will evolve a bit later over time.

“And then obviously the bar side of stuff… and then also the entertainment side being the dance floor area going upstairs.”

The venue is multi-faceted and Adam believes it will work in SORA’s favour.

“People of Adelaide are going to be able to utilise [the venue] in terms of going to be able to go and have something to eat, whether that’s a light snack or a drink… or whether it’s to go for a full-blown meal experience, then carry on into the later night entertainment experience,” Adam says.

“I think that’s the advantage of offering multiple things you can use the venue for.”

The space


The venue also has views over the Adelaide CBD from nearly every corner.

“There’s not many [rooftop venues] in Adelaide,” Adam says.

“I like the idea that it’s not affected by traffic… it’s good in that regard because it’s a bit of an escape.

“Also the allure of going up that lift and coming out of it and walking into that venue that’s completely different to the floors below.”

As SORA translates to sky in Japanese, the team knew they had to use this opportunity to make the most of their sky-high locale.

“It’s just an open-air venue on a rooftop,” Adam says. “But obviously, weather can destroy a business… so it does have that ability to close that open-air down.

“The exterior of the building is bright white so we sort of wanted to reflect that colour tone in the interior of SORA.”


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Adam says the interiors of a restaurant are a way to cohesively workshop menu ideas. This is the case for Shōbōsho and ShoSho where he is also the executive chef.

“The architecture and the vibe of the restaurant helps dictate the [food] offering,” Adam says.

Shōbōsho is a firehouse on Leigh Street in the grungey kind of western part of the city that’s kind of hip and busy and bustling.

“Food naturally tends to fit into that environment differently.”

Adam has used these environment principles when creating the menu for SORA.

“The focus at SORA is the white, clear, clean, modern lines — the crockery has that same sort of perspective — super crisp, white, ceramic,” Adam says.

“Naturally for me, that makes me want to highlight simply what goes on that plate which is the crispness of it.”

Hints of what we can expect on the menu


Though Adam dodges revealing menu specifics, he reiterates the cuisine is of Japanese, Korean and Chinese influence and hints to the type of ingredients he focuses on.

“That front open kitchen has got a dry-aged fridge in there that’s designed specifically for beef and there’s a big focus on dry aged quality beef that will be cooked over fire,” Adam says.

“There’s multiple different cuts that we’ll be offering and also offering in multiple different sizes — that’ll be a big aspect of that front kitchen offering.

“Then in that main kitchen. There’s a really, really big focus on raw fish [and] a really strong influence coming from that Asian perspective.”

SORA uses the best quality seasonal ingredients possible, something Adam says should be standard in any restaurant in Adelaide.

“Doing stuff in season should be the responsibility that should be upheld from any chef point of view,” Adam says.

Adam knows he can draw a crowd with his cooking, but says he doesn’t “like repeating what we do cooking-wise” from other venues.

“I understand the market of Adelaide obviously a lot now, and I feel like that’s given us a perspective on future business,” he says.

“There’s no correlation in food offerings from Shōbōsho and ShoSho and SORA.

“SORA is going to be a much different style of offering even though those flavours will be consistently through.”

SORA is located at 89 Pirie Street, Adelaide 5000 and is slated to open in mid-January 2024.

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