Sora 45: sushis and cocktails in the clouds

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  • Sora 45

  • 1 Place Ville-Marie Montréal H3B 4E8
  • Monday: Closed
    Tuesday: 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM
    Wednesday: 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM, 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM
    Thursday: 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM, 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM
    Friday: 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM, 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM
    Saturday: 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM
    Sunday: Closed
  • Restaurant Bar Cocktail bar

Enjoying the sunset from 45 floors above the downtown buzz, cocktail in hand and a tray of exquisite nigiri on the table – here’s what on offer at Sora 45, A5 Hospitality’s chic sushi bar.

Located at the 45th floor of Place Ville-Marie, the stunning space was originally supposed to serve as a café-lounge for gastronomic restaurant Hiatus, which opened in summer of 2023 on the top floor. After a few months of trial and error, A5 (Jatoba, Cathcart, Nomi) opted to create a new, distinct identity for the lounge: Sora 45.

“Hiatus as a strong identity, with a distinctive culinary signature. We have a different clientele on the 45th floor; it’s more accessible and easy-going. People come here for sushi, drinks, and to enjoy the view,” explains Stéphane Pilon, the group’s marketing director.

“Sora” means “sky” in Japanese, which is very fitting since one literally finds themselves with their head in the clouds when unboarding the elevator. The lounge occupies the entire floor, offering a 360-degree panorama of the city, with the river and Jacques-Quartier bridge on one side and Mont Royal on the other. The expansive space is divided by a large central cross-shaped corridor, allowing easy navigation from the bar at one end to the stairs leading to Hiatus on the other. The 115 seats, arranged in cozy two-person banquettes, long bars with stools, and small niches accommodating up to 10 people, are dotted around the perimeter of the floor, ensuring everyone can enjoy the view.

Sid Lee Architecture, who designed the interior, created custom-made furniture, made from the same red oak used for the walls and ceilings. The ensemble is minimalistic, sleek and modern. During the day, the open space is bathed in natural light; in the evening, the warm recessed lighting creates a sensual and intimate ambiance, with the city lights twinkling in the background.

Two amazing chefs for the price of one

Chef Gary Durand, a veteran of renowned French establishments (Troisgros, Atelier Joel Robuchon Étoile, Flocon de sel, in addition to Maison Boulud and Park in Montreal), is responsible for the menu, with the collaboration of Hiatus Chef Yoann Therer (Mousso, L’Abattoir), whose credentials are equally impressive. Although the menu is simpler and more accessible than that of its big brother, there’s no compromise on quality or presentation at Sora 45. The short menu primarily revolves around sushi: makis, nigiris, and sashimis.

During lunch, add to that a choice of tuna and shishito or teriyaki salmon chirashi (rice bowls topped with raw fish). We strongly recommend the 9-piece platters, which includes the chefs’ daily selection of makis and nigiris presented with a small bowl of chirashi – a delightful way to sample the menu at a very reasonable price, given the quality offered.

In the evening, add a few hot bites to pair with your cocktail: braised pork chasu, tsukune (chicken meatball with yakitori sauce), or unagi (a rice ball stuffed with smoked eel). One of the menu’s stars is undoubtedly the Ora King salmon nigiri, glazed with teriyaki sauce and flambéed with a torch. A pleasure for both the eyes and the palate.

Wines, sakes, cocktails

The drink menu is also one of Sora 45’s main attractions, as Stéphane Pilon enthusiastically points out: “The menu is 100% distinct from Hiatus. Honestly, it’s amazing!” Mixologists Carl Charette-Kelada (formerly of Atwater Cocktail Club) and Tim Robertson (Nomi, Flyjin) are behind the cocktails, including reimagined classics and original creations. Sommeliers Claude Laporte and Olivier Butcher are responsible for the wine and sake list, featuring several delightful finds imported by the Monsieur Saké agency.

Mr. Pilon notes that it’s also possible to privatize the space, either in part or in its entirety, for private or corporate events, with a menu of sushi and Japanese bites.

In summary, we love the excellent sushi, its superb cocktail list, and, above all, the incomparable view of Montreal. There’s no doubt that Sora 45 will become a popular spot for happy hour – which will likely extend well beyond sunset.

Photography by Scott Usheroff (Craving Curator)

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