Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats
Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley's lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats

Ascend 14 floors to Soko, Fortitude Valley’s lush new rooftop lounge serving Peruvian and Japanese eats

A rainforest in the sky, what a fantastical notion! As crazy as it is to imagine, finding a lush tropical sanctuary in Brisbane isn’t all that outlandish a concept now that Soko Rooftop is open to the public. Located 14 floors above St Pauls Terrace, this brand-new rooftop bar and eatery (from the brains behind South Brisbane’s Lina Rooftop) is bringing traces of the Amazon to Fortitude Valley. It features a pisco- and sake-soaked beverage list, a menu boasting a tasty tandem of Peruvian and Japanese flavours, and a party atmosphere propelled by Latin beats. It’s definitely one to add to you list of summer hangouts – here’s what you can expect …

Rooftop spaces are at a premium in Brisbane, with hospitality-friendly perches considered prized jewels amongst our cityscape. With this in mind, it’s a pretty impressive feat that Ross Ledingham has managed to snag not one, but two elevated positions in 2022. Back in February Ross launched resort-inspired Lina Rooftop atop the Mobo South Brisbane building and now, nine months on, he’s following it up with Soko Rooftop. It’s a leaf-laden 500-capacity oasis sitting pretty at the pinnacle of Jubilee Place, a brand-new Blight Rayner-designed office tower located on Fortitude Valley’s northern edge. Though the opportunity arose as a matter of being in the right place at the right time, the idea for Soko, which marries Peruvian and Japanese fare and cooking techniques, was already knocking about in Ross’ brain before he knew the rooftop was available. “The concept itself was created for another space, but it changed to be much grander when we got more to work with,” recalls Ross the day of Soko’s official opening last Friday November 11. “We already knew what we wanted to do up here from the second we walked in.” Soko’s entrance elevator off Symes Street slings guests upwards to the roof, where a breathtaking south-facing view greets them. Once you manage to tear your eyes away from the vista, you’ll be able to take in Soko’s lush dining and bar space. A tropical rainforest-inspired aesthetic takes cues from the Amazon, with deep emerald-green tiles and marble, timber and stone accented by gold trim and decorative artefacts, slender-stemmed Bird of Paradise plants and creeping vines on the walls. Most of Soko’s rooftop footprint is given over to casual alfresco dining shaded by striped umbrellas, with garden beds filled with native plants and brush box trees, and an overhead trellis expected to fill in with more foliage. “Like Lina, it’s a hybrid,” says Ross of Soko’s multifaceted layout. “I don’t believe in just building a restaurant – it has to have the multiple elements because we want it to be everything for everyone.”

Ross and Soko’s co-owner and head chef David Hernandez (who previously oversaw the kitchen at Evita) are targeting an offering that tastefully amalgamates elements of both Peruvian and Japanese cuisine without diluting the spirit of either. “It was more about trying to offer something that was high-end Latin-American fusion,” says Ross. “The finesse of Japanese culture mixed with the higher-end elements of Peruvian profiles is something that we wanted to showcase.” Soko’s a la carte menu follows a ‘sharing is caring’ ethos, which means guests are encouraged to assemble a constellation of dishes for flexible and flavoursome feasting. The fun starts with youkoso (the Japanese word for welcome that is applied here to Soko’s small plates), which encompasses the likes of spicy tuna with jalapeno and spring onion served on sweet-soy crispy rice cakes and Latin-style grilled street corn with huancaina salsa. From there, the menu segments into different categories. A selection of ceviche (including red snapper with truffle, ponzu and chives, and Peruvian leche de tigre with corn, onions, sweet potato and chilli) leads into bao buns (filled with the likes of crispy pork katsu and teriyaki chicken), yakitori and maki sushi rolls made with nori seaweed. Centrepiece mains like grilled yuzu-saikyo miso marinated black cod, grilled wagyu ribeye with salsa verde, wasabi ponzu and black volcanic lava salt, and lacquer grilled corn-fed chicken with scarlet honey-sansho pepper soy are definite showstoppers. From Monday to Friday between 12:00–3:00 pm, Soko hosts a Tezukuri Business Lunch, where guests can enjoy a set-menu feed featuring a selection of small plates and donburi sets.

Soko’s beverage list is led by 40 kinds of pisco sour. This variety comes courtesy of a number of globe-shaped glass vessels in which the Soko team is creating a range of flavour blends. These seasonally rotating mixtures, which boast flavours like strawberry and elderflower, lychee and vanilla, and mango and jalapeno, can be mixed with your choice of pisco to create your dream sour. If pisco isn’t your thing, flip a few pages to the cocktail menu, where you’ll be able to select from a range of signatures, long and short concoctions, and shooters. Of particular mention is the Akuma Jungle, a zippy and refreshing potion boasting gin, cucumber, chilli, pineapple juice, passionfruit sugar and lychee juice. For every Akuma Jungle bought, Soko will donate one dollar to plant a tree in the Amazon in conjunction with not-for-profit charity One Tree Planted. Soko’s list of potables is rounded out by a tidy wine list, Asahi on tap and a selection of Japanese sake.

Soko Rooftop is now open to the public – follow the sound of Latin music and bongo drums to Symes Street, or click over to the Stumble Guide for more details. 

Food and drink images supplied by Soko Rooftop

The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.

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