Donovans

4.7
416 reviews
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$101 and over
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Modern Australian
Top tags:
  • Waterfront
  • Scenic View
  • Special Occasions
Welcome to Donovans - our ‘house on the beach’ and home we love to share. Donovans is located on the St.Kilda beach front offering guests a memorable dining experience in Melbourne. With a bay side view, beautiful Mediterranean inspired food and the special relaxed atmosphere of the restaurant, Donovans is where you will feel at home.

Donovans’ exciting menu has been developed with Gail and Kevin’s knowledge of modern cooking coupled with an Italian influence from their talented Head chef Emma D'Alessandro. The menu is extensive with a modern mix of favourite dishes emphasising the best local produce. Donovans also offers an extensive wine list of Australian and imported wines and an eclectic mix of cocktails.
What 416 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
Food
4.7
Service
4.7
Ambience
4.1
Value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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g
Sydney / NSW
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2Food 2Service 3Ambience 3

been a few times but it seems food quality has come down a notch and i was disappointed.
Not all the food came out at same time and that was not good either

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AB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Absolutely fabulous! It’s been 16 years since I last dined at Donovan’s..I live interstate..and I was thrilled to find the excellent service, wonderfully friendly and helpful staff, ambiance and of course superb food were still the hallmark of this fabulous family run establishment. I was able to introduce my partner to the culinary and other delights of Donovan’s and he was extremely impressed. Well done to all the hard working staff and special thanks to Andy and David who truly made my return visit such a special one. Donovan’s is my absolute favourite restaurant in Melbourne! I can’t wait to go back!
I highly recommend Donovan’s to anyone wanting a fine dining experience.

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JM
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Superb restaurant great service great food great view amazing wine list just wonderful

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LH
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

From the moment we were warmly greeted at the front door, Donovans feels special. Especially as we were then ushered to a window table overlooking the St Kilda foreshore. The service is warm, friendly, efficient without feeling rushed. The menu, while constantly reflecting seasonal ingredients, feels familiar and isn't too fussy (although there were far too much truffle oil in my opinion!)
We were there for lunch and hoovered the bread with fave bean dip, chicken liver parfait to share for entree, then salmon for my mother and rigatoni with wagyu ragu for myself. The food is lovely and you can tell the chefs care about what they serve.
The wine list is extensive and prices are typical of a high end establishment.
I won't pretend Donovans is a value choice - entrees are typically $25-$30 and mains range from $30 up to $60. But I'm constantly surprised by the total bill (for some reason I always expect it to be higher).
It really was a lovely meal.

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SB
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Never had a bad meal here, the menu is fairly static, but they do it so well. We only are there two days ago and I'm already dreaming of getting back there for more pie. Excellent staff, extensive wine list, with something for everyone's taste or budget. Just lovely.

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TH
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

Great restaurant and absolutely lovely food and view! On the pricey side however highly recommend for a special occasion.

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JS
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 16 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Another incredible dining experience. Made the celebration of mum's birthday one to remember visiting from the UK with the family....our favourite place in Melbourne by a mile!

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BD
1 review
Dined on 10 April 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

A delightful evening in our favourite restaurant where the service ambiance and food was wonderful

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DL
1 review
Dined on 9 April 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Magnificent food, fantastic service and a great location.
My wife has always wanted to dine here so on her birthday we did.
Donovan’s did not disappoint.
Expensive, however quality always comes at a price. In this case the cost was well worth it. Highly recommended.

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JB
1 review
Dined on 9 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Absolutely delightful, delicious food and excellent service.

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BM
1 review
Dined on 7 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Gorgeous place Gorgeous food beautiful day Great service Great wine

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B
1 review
Dined on 6 April 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 3Ambience 4

Overall ambiance was pleasing, there were lot's of people, so naturally, it is expected of us to wait for about 10 minutes to be able to place our order. However, I noticed there were a few insects around while eating :(

I'm fairly disappointed with the food as there weren't any sauce to go along with the steak, and fish & chips.

We were given desserts for my friend's birthday, that was really nice!

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OT
1 review
Dined on 4 April 2019
Overall 2Food 1Service 1Ambience 1

The quality of food and services considering the price was extremely disappointing.

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d
1 review
Dined on 3 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

fantastic place, from the moment we were greeted to the second we left. amazing food. & wine. fantastic service

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TS
1 review
Dined on 3 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We have visited Donovan's on a number of occasions and always been impressed with the food, service, friendly staff, ambience et.
Very happy to recommend to our friends.

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CH
1 review
Dined on 2 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Some of the best food I have enjoyed with friendly service. Highly recommended

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M
New England
1 review
Dined on 2 April 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

Only disappointment is that one spills their drink in front of waiter and he dues nothing about it. He watches me clean it up

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R
1 review
Dined on 31 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Always fantastic. Great service and food. The same great QLD prawn dish I enjoyed nearly 20 years ago.

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CA
1 review
Dined on 30 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Favourite restaurant, amazing food. Totally my go to when I want a long lazy lunch.

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FD
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 29 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great atmosphere and always good service. Food is exceptional.

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CA
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 29 March 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

I love the friendly service here. You are always made to feel welcome and valued as a customer. You never get the feeling that the restaurant is doing you a favour which is not uncommon in high end eateries. They are very helpful to people with special dietary requests. The ambiance is comfortable and the location amazing. The noise level is muted which means you can have a quiet conversation your friends can actually hear. The food is well cooked and very fresh. There are no OTT gastronomic elements in the menu but everything is tasty. My only comment would be about the price. I come here regularly but not often as I might. Some menu and drinks items are quite a stretch.

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MG
1 review
Dined on 26 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

A wonderful night out, we cannot fault any of it. The service was superb, food was great, sommelier was helpful. Really a great experience all around.

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GL
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 25 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

It was a wonderful experience for a very special occasion. Couldn't fault it.

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JB
1 review
Dined on 24 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Incredible food, incredible service, incredible experience. We shared both steaks and they were outstanding. Would go again and again.

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KM
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 22 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Donovans is our absolutely favourite restaurant for special occasions. My husband proposed to me at Donovans and we like to celebrate our birthdays, engagements and celebrations there. We cannot fault the food, ambience, staff and experience when dining at Donovans. This time around, whilst we totally loved our dining experience, we felt a little rushed by the waitress - we understand we had to be out by a certain time but we had finished our meal and drinks within the 1st hour and we would have liked to have taken our time a little more. This would never deter us from recommending Donovans to anyone and we will return again soon :) Thank you!

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LW
1 review
Dined on 19 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We’ve been going there for ever, it just keeps getting better and better!
Thanks heaps.

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C
Miami
6 reviews
Dined on 15 March 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 2Ambience 4

Disappointing. We were rushed beyond belief, and our waitress wouldn’t leave us alone until we ordered. Both the starters and the mains came almost immediately, cutting into what was to be a leisurely dinner. My glass of wine was a very short pour. Very pricey.

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RM
1 review
Dined on 15 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Always the same - exceptional. Friendly staff......not obsequient, very discreet. Loved the meal, the view, the ambience - whats not to like. Thank you, we will be back.

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p
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 13 March 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Having been to Donovans many times - All I can say is "excellent" - no complaints whatsoever.............

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JM
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on 12 March 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

We had a great night. 3 of us. 2 of us had pasta, and it was amazing. Really really good, so much flavour, and this isn't even an Italian restaurant. I've had food from the grill before, and haven't been wowed, so went for the pasta. The Bombe is always great.
You can't beat the view on a clear night. The service was excellent.
What I most liked was the extensive selection of half bottles of good wine. I don't want to drink a whole bottle any more: both very expensive, and never finish it, so a waste. With half bottles a small group can have a few different wines for a reasonable price, and not be intoxicated or over the limit.

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SH
1 review
Dined on 6 March 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 5

Visited Donovans for a business dinner. I appreciate good food and consider myself accustomed to high prices for good food. However, I still cringe a little at $25-28 entrees and $45-55 mains. I usually try re-assure myself that "it'll be worth it". Unfortunately, while exhibiting some lovely flavours the meal simply did not represent value for money to me. $700+ for 4ppl. Very Very 'economical' portioning and to be honest just simple food prepared well. Not good value and I'm getting a bit sick of restaurants proclaiming to be exceptional and charging as such.... and seeing waffer thin slithers of food on the plate. Asking them to review their pricing or portioning will fall on deaf ears I'm sure, so I simply can't visit Donovans again.

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AW
1 review
Dined on 2 March 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 5Ambience 4

The venue and service was perfect but the house specialty chicken pie was a disappointment especially not using the prime cuts of chicken. The way it was served was great and we were well looked after but the main reason to return to a restaurant is the food and providing cheap cuts is not a way to treat high end patrons. I thought the menu was limited and the disclaimer for not catering for food issues was akin to ready made meals

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A
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on 2 March 2019
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 4

Will not recommend it to anybody!! $65 steak was totally overdone; soufflé tasted like a frittata; brought my oysters and starter at the same time; brought my wine and then my cocktail; waiters changed 3 times; waiters were rude and they rushed us! Never again to Donovan’s!

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SC
1 review
Dined on 1 March 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Loved our dinner experience, great food and great service. A little disappointed on how the cocktails were presented but they still tasted nice!

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PJ
1 review
Dined on 28 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Sunset with on terrace drink then bayside table with attentive service and excellent food. It could be that more Australian wines are featured in the by-the-glass section.

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SG
1 review
Dined on 24 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary we had a great time food was great and the staff were lovely. Very happy with the service and the views of the beach were awesome.

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CM
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 23 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had such a wonderful dining experience at Donovans. The Staff were attentive and very courteous. The chiefs prepared a sumptuous meal for us to enjoy, it was an experience we will be talking about for a while to come.

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MG
1 review
Dined on 22 February 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 5

I just made a bad choice. Fish and chips was quite ordinary, thick batter and quite oily, potatoes ok. It was no better than if I had ordered it from the local fish and chippery and I would’ve paid a lot less. As I mentioned it was a bad choice. We had a lovely evening.

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OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on 22 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wholesome honest food served in beautiful location. Service excellent!

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OT
Salt Lake City
13 reviews
Dined on 19 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Love Donovan’s, my favourite Melbourne restaurant. The staff are warm, friendly and professional. The food and wine is delicious and the vibe is fabulous, I feel like I’m sitting in someone’s home (a very nice home)

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