Donovan's (Closed)

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Overall Rating


Donovan's Recommended based on its 38 reviews
Calculated using a Weighted average


Donovan's Details

Donovan's Address

40 Jacka Blvd
St Kilda VIC 3182

Donovan's Menu
Donovan's Website

Donovan's Contact Info

(03) 9534 8221
(03) 9525 3595


Adam Draper and Emma D'Alessandro

Prices $$$$

Average Meal Price $61 - based on one entree & main course only


Bookings are essential

Rooms & Capacity

No of Seats 120

private dining room
Ideal for a gathering of 10-26 persons. It has stunning views of St Kilda beach and Port Phillip Bay.
Seating Capacity 26

The Library
A cosy but intimate environment ideal for corporate dining.
Seating Capacity 10


Mon to Sun Noon - 4pm
Mon to Sun 6pm - 11:30pm




Wheelchair Access

One Good Food Hat

Dining Atmospheres
Fine Dining

Dining Features
Child Friendly Menus
Has Bar
Log Fire
Outdoor Dining
Private Room

Beach View

Payment Types Accepted


Donovan's Awards


The Age Good Food Guide 2014 - One Chef's Hat


Australian Gourmet Traveller 2013 - One Star


The Age Good Food Guide 2013 - One Chef's Hat


The Age Good Food Guide 2012 - One Chef's Hat


Australian Gourmet Traveller 2012 - One Star


The Age Good Food Guide 2011 - Two Chef's Hats


Australian Gourmet Traveller 2011 - One Star


The Age Good Food Guide 2010 - Two Chef's Hats


The Age Good Food Guide 2009 - Two Chef's Hats


The Age Good Food Guide 2008 - Two Chef's Hats


Overview of Donovan's

Donovan's is a popular restaurant to visit when you're famished after a stroll or swim at St Kilda beach. It's like resting and dining in an actual house by the beach—the floor-to-ceiling windows open onto the beach and the interiors are of timber and rich fabrics. You can dine al fresco at the Terrace. There's also an enclosed veranda, a Cape Cod inspired dining room, lounge, bar and gorgeous private dining rooms.

The menu at Donovan's developed from owner Gail and Kevin's knowledge of contemporary American cooking and extensive experience in restaurant management. Pastas and barbeques and the freshest of seafood and veggies are featured. The owners continue to travel and do research on ways to upgrade the menu and the restaurant as a whole. Donovan's wine list offers a respectable number of Australian and imported wines as well as an diverse mix of cocktails.

For its charm and colourful style, the award-winning Donovan's is at the forefront of restaurants that serve good food in a casual ambience, the one that diners regard as their second home.

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    User Reviews of Donovan's, St Kilda

    Page: 1 2 3 4 Next


    Displaying: 1 - 10 of 38 reviews

    8.5 Highly Recommended

    Food  8      Ambience  9      Service  9      Value  8     

    We went for lunch last weekend and loved it. The staff were helpful but not invasive, we were made to feel very welcome and special. The food was excellent, a poussin dish and the osso pasta were our mains, and we went all the way to the Bombe Alaska for two. The tasting plate to start is an excellent idea. If anything the poached oysters were a touch bland, but a minor detail. Overall, a great restaurant experience.

    May 07, 2014 

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    1 of 1 reader found the following review helpful

    2 Not Recommended

    Food  3      Ambience  2      Service  2      Value  1     

    Big disappointment! Completely over priced! We dined here last Saturday night and had been looking forward to it for ages! When we got there it was very unatmospheric and we were completely shocked at the pricing for the spec of restaurant we were in. It is a casual dining room yet you would not pay $46 for a tiny chicken pie in the Ritz, London! Seriously?! Who do they think they are kidding? Very very bland and uninspiring dining experience. Will not be returning.

    May 07, 2012 

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    9 Highly Recommended

    Food  10      Ambience  10      Service  10      Value  6     

    Had lunch here today. Took my hubby and my 4 month old in a pram. The staff were very friendly and polite! The food was wonderful! Hubby had the T-bone steak and I had the pork platter. Delicious! Yes, this place is pricey, but I absolutely love the decor, the ambience, the view and especially the food! We'll definitely eat here again!

    Apr 01, 2011 

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    0 of 2 readers found the following review helpful

    2.8 Not Recommended

    Food  1      Ambience  6      Service  3      Value  1     

    What a colossal waste of money, baby-sitters and what should have been a lovely night out with friends. I am horrified that for that price the quality of the seafood was so poor. In Australia! There is no excuse for the tasteless Queensland prawns, or the home-made ravioli filled with the fish equivalent of spam in a 'just add water' Mac and cheese sauce. Never again and I will tell anyone that the Donovan's reputation Is not deserved. Not what I expect from Melbourne.

    Mar 28, 2011 

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    8.8 Highly Recommended

    Food  9      Ambience  10      Service  8      Value  8     

    What a great restaurant for that special ocassion. A quality establishment, maybe a tad expensive but you get what you pay for. The meals are exquisite. Inside ambience oozes style and excellence. And the view on a warm sunny early evening overlooking the St Kilda beach and boardwalk and the people - magnificent - plus a sunset! A lovely outdoor area for pre or after dinner drinks or dessert. Highly recommended but take your credit card!

    Jan 23, 2011 

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    1 of 1 reader found the following review helpful

    6.8 Recommended

    Food  7      Ambience  9      Service  6      Value  5     

    As many others have said recently (and I wish now I'd read prior to booking), Donovans is sadly disappointing now. We had great memories of a meal there some years back and encouraged by the two hats it's had for the past 4 years booked there for a business function.

    We've been to many two hat restaurants, and I honestly have no idea how Donovans is considered to be in the same category as places like Ezard, MoMo etc. The food was fine, but absolutely nothing special and extremely expensive for what you get. It seems standards have slipped a lot in the past few years and you're now just paying for the view.

    My wife's swordfish was a thin steak overcooked and dry. One guest waited about 5 minutes for her main to arrive after everyone else's had. The rest of the dishes were nice but completely unspectacular. If you treat it as a decent restaurant with an expensive view then it's fine, but in no way at all does it deserve any chef's hats at all, let alone two.

    Dec 09, 2010 

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    2 of 2 readers found the following review helpful

    6.3 Average

    Food  5      Ambience  9      Service  8      Value  3     

    Two chef's hats in 2010 and 2011? You have got to be joking! This is clearly a hang out of people who love the wonderful california beach-side interior, but lack a discerning palate and sense value for money.

    The service was fine and efficient, thought not completely spot on. Entrees were delivered seemingly 3 minutes after ordering, but there was a long wait for mains. At the end of the meal, we just wanted one more glass of shiraz, only to be told that they no longer do any shiraz by the glass.? In the end, a manager stepped in and delivered one as they could see I was a little frustrated, so a good resolution and customer care was provided, but should this really be an issue in the first place? I was a bit shocked!

    Now the food. It's completely underwhelming and dreadfully overpriced. I ordered leader prawns and I was delivered four prawns that had been butterflied and grilled with a little chilli, oregano and olive oil to finish it off. While they were nice, they certainly didn't warrant the $45 price tag and were not served with any flare or sides. It was just a plate for four prawns on it. It was ok, but nothing special and a good local eatery could match it. Given how expensive it was, I was disappointed that it didn't live up to anticipation.

    Going around the table, we all ordered different things and tried each others out, and fair to say that none of the dishes were particularly memorable, except for a fish dish with an oxtail ragut. It was delightful. Desserts and entrees were nothing special and, again, extremely expensive.

    This place was a bit better a few years ago and I feel it's gone downhill in terms of flavours and cooking ideas. The quality of produce is certainly good and it's cooked well enough, but I do not intend to go there again. The bill was absurd given that we really didn't end up enjoying the night overall and felt underwhelmed by the food generally. But it's full often and I suppose they are not going to change anything if the customers keep coming in.

    Oct 30, 2010 

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    8.8 Highly Recommended

    Food  8      Ambience  10      Service  9      Value  8     

    Donovan's left my husband and I happy and satisfied! The ambience was the first thing we noticed. We were going to go straight to our seat but couldn't resist the welcoming "living room" with the inviting open fire. After a refreshing cocktail by the fire (mojito - we believe it was "Steve's" 1st attempt at making them, they were delicious!), we went to our cozy table by the window for our meal.

    The waitress was lovely and was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. She was so sweet and she reminded us of our aunty. Unfortunately, we can't remember her name. We had Tazzy oysters and Prawn and Moreton Bay bug tortelli to start. What an amazing start. Then we had linguine with seafood and Western Australian scampi and Berkshire pork rack for mains.

    It was lucky that "aunty" suggested for me to have the entree size main (linguine) as I was really looking forward to dessert. When I came back from a quick trip to the loo, I was surprised with a beautiful hot chocolate soufflé with birthday well-wishes written in chocolate and a sparkler on top. It was the perfect birthday finish. Thank you Donovan's!

    Just remember to collect your coats and umbrellas if you do check them in. Unfortunately, our hotel umbrella was left behind. Luckily when my husband called, they were happy to make arrangements for it to be delivered back to the hotel. Thanks again!

    Aug 03, 2010 

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    9.3 Highly Recommended

    Food  10      Ambience  10      Service  10      Value  7     

    Recommend if you wish to impress someone special. My boyfriend (now husband) took me there for my birthday in May 2009. We shared the duck and bombe alaska. The duck came with a rocket salad and jus. Despite the lack of sides, it was still filling (a whole duck between 2!) and the duck was cooked to perfection, the meat just fell off the bone.

    Once our waiter found out it was my birthday, in between main course and dessert, I was surprised and flattered when the bombe alaska came out with Happy Birthday written in chocolate sauce. More than enough for two, and worth it just to say you've (finally) eaten bombe alaska, I could never attempt to make that at home!

    After dinner, we ventured over to the couch and enjoyed hot drinks by the fire, admiring all the decor. Very impressed by the wine folder, not just a list. The staff are very attentive and provide great service. Hope to find another excuse to go back again one day.

    Jul 24, 2010 

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    3.5 Below Average

    Food  2      Ambience  4      Service  6      Value  2     

    Dined here on the weekend and just don't get why this restaurant even deserves an entry in The Age Good Food Guide or rated as a one star entry in Gourmet Traveller's Restaurant Guide. I'm wondering whether this has been taken over recently by new owner's or a new "chef". I ordered the crab bisque for an entree which I didn't finish ($19.00). A seafood linguine ($29.00) was very ordinary with only 1 scampi which was the most disappointing seafood on the plate, overcooked and floury, I wouldn't serve this to guests in my own home.

    The steak was $45 dollars and ordered as medium rare but was burnt on the outside and well done on the inside. A "chocolate souffle" was the biggest joke of the meal, a huge overcooked and burnt chocolate fondant for $19.00! I wish I had read the other reviews here before going. I'm so disappointed after having so many other restaurant options that day to choose from.

    Apr 28, 2010 

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    Displaying: 1 - 10 of 38 reviews

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