Donovans

4.7
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497 reviews
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$101 and over
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Modern Australian
Top tags:
  • Waterfront
  • Special Occasions
  • Scenic View
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 497 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
4.2
Value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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EA
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great lunch , great service . Been many time and will be returning many time , this is a Melbourne icon 👨🏼👍

JD
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Food was excellent, but service a bit slow, at least at our table.

M
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3Food 5Service 3Ambience 4

Unfortunately whilst the food and ambience is lovely at Donovans, we did not have a great experience this time. We have celebrated many occasions there over the years, and this time, despite noting in the booking it was my mothers 80th birthday, there was no acknowledgement of this, although the woman on the table next door had this acknowledged - just with a candle in her desert and 'Happy Birthday' written on the plate, which made Mum feel like she missed out.
We were also asked to leave the table due to the second sitting without being directed where we could finish our drinks. We went outside, and then had someone come out a second time and ask us to move away from outside the private dining room (despite there being no signs this was a private area). So we felt like we were asked to leave a second time. Had we been shown where we could go in the first instance, this wouldn't have happened. This was not a pleasant experience and i would have expected much better from a restaurant at this price point.

JV
1 review
Dined on 8 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Can’t say anything wrong about Donovan’s service was amazing very friendly and helpful staff. The food was amazing and my steak was perfectly cooked. The wait time on the meal was outstanding and came out fairly quickly. Overall 5 out of 5

AD
1 review
Dined on 2 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Always consistently the best in every way possible.

T
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Donovans is s family favourite. It’s relaxed like great friend’s loungeroom and the food is a treat. It’s all very personal.

LC
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Simply perfect for our celebration this is my special occasion go to restaurant and they never disappoint

L
Melbourne / VIC
4 reviews
Dined on 27 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Donovans never disappoints.
Great food, great wine and great service.
Up market without being pretentious. All the staff are relaxed and welcoming.
Can’t wait for my next visit

C
Toronto
1 review
Dined on 26 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Had an amazing dinner here. It was a quiet Monday so the restaurant wasn’t too busy. The wait staff treated us so well and the food was delicious! Definitely will be going back. Might go for lunch so that I can see the view better.

DC
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on 25 August 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Our waiter was delightful. My daughter is a vegetarian and is very fussy but they were incredible helpful and she had a wonderful meal as did we all.

D
1 review
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Lovely relaxed and homely atmosphere, welcoming, thoughtful staff and great food. Cant ask for much more!

LC
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 5Ambience 5

We have been coming to Donovans for years and very much enjoy it. On Saturday we felt that the classic fish and house cut chips was quite a let down. The fish was only ok - it was not hot when it arrived at the table. Likewise the house cut chips were below standard (and were were so looking forward to them!!). Again they were not hot and having wilted a bit they were not crisp which was a bit of a shame.

we still love Donovans and are providing you with honest feedback because we care, not to be difficult. As you can see from our ratings the service was wonderful and the environment delightful.

looking forward to seeing you again next time - will make different selection from the menu.

A
Singapore
11 reviews
Dined on 23 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Donovan's never fails to disappoint. One of Melbourne's best kept bayside dining secrets, it always feels like going to visit somebody's beachside home in the Hamptons for an extravagant dining experience - so warm, inviting, beautiful and homely.

The service is impeccable: highly attentive, efficient and friendly, without any sense of fuss or annoyance. There's something for everyone on the menu - it rarely changes - because it's a winner on every level.

The wine list is one of the best and most complete in Melbourne, although be prepared to pay a premium to drink it in such refined elegance. Highly recommend.

TS
1 review
Dined on 21 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Just when you thought you where completely satisfied they bought out a plate with 4 home made Chocolates on it with a note written in chocolate saying"Happy Anniversary".
Topped the night off
Cheers guys

TM
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 20 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had a delicious meal and the staff are excellent. It has become a favourite for all our special occasions.

DR
Brisbane / QLD
2 reviews
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Always enjoy Donovans. Service is impeccable as is the wine list. Food was very enjoyable although very expensive.
Great special occasion venue.

DD
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food was great and the staff were all lovely. Would have no issue recommending to others. Thank you.

K
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Exceptional food, knowledgeable and friendly staff, lovely relaxed ambience with incredible views. Donovan’s is one of Baysides true gems, hence why we keep coming back!

MC
1 review
Dined on 15 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Beautiful!!! Amazing, relaxed and chic dining experience. The chicken pie is exceptional. Would highly recommend.

IM
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on 12 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

A long-time family favourite, Donovans never disappoints. Fine food and wine, friendly and attentive service and an understated, informal ambience make every visit enjoyable and ensure we keep returning. The view's not bad either!

TD
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 11 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Donovan’s continues with impeccable and friendly service and delicious food. Thank you for making our lunch with mum such a lovely occasion.

SB
Canberra / ACT
2 reviews
Dined on 7 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Donovan's is probably my favourite restaurant in Melbourne. It comes down to the fact that Kevin and Gayle have created a place that feels like home, where you feel like a friend of the family every time you go. The staff stay for years, which means they're like old friends, so whenever I go and whoever I take, I always feel welcome and right at home. And, of course, the food is consistently fantastic and the wine list to die for! Highly recommended. :)

KC
1 review
Dined on 6 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Beautiful setting with excellent atmosphere food and customer service.

JR
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 2 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food was absolutely delicious and the wait staff were the best. Loved every minute of it.

K
1 review
Dined on 2 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

A fabulous and worthwhile experience!
The attention to detail and quality of the food is to be comended. Whilst the food is rich it does not leave you feeling bad later as the quality is so good.

CM
1 review
Dined on 30 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had adduce a lovely anniversary dinner at Donovans. The staff was lovely and the food delicious. Can't wait to go back :)

ST
1 review
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Just a great place!! Best in the eorld! Been coming here for 15 years and the quality of service and food is excellent.

EB
Brisbane / QLD
1 review
Dined on 19 July 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Our Bomba Alaska wasn’t lit up at our table as done previously, was a bit disappointed as had told kids all about it. Was still delicious though.

OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on 19 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Everything was 10 out of 10
Love this place, staff and food. Well done 👍🏼

GC
1 review
Dined on 13 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our experience - we have been regular patrons of Donovans

PG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 11 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

An institution of Melbourne fine dining! With breathtaking views of the bay, the knowledgeable yet unpretentious staff are welcoming and warm with their service and candor.
As regular customers we are always greeted by name and given exemplary service. The food is impeccably presented and is always of the highest five star standard. The wine list has a multitude of choice from vineyards from across the globe.
A must visit dining experience if you’re ever in Melbourne. 👍

JM
1 review
Dined on 11 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic Service and Food.

RW
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 10 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing as always. Food was outstanding! Couldn’t recommend highly enough

m
1 review
Dined on 10 July 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Great quality and taste of seafood but the Alaska Bombe was disappointing in presentation - the main essence of lighting up the dessert was done in the kitchen (out of sight) and we only get to see the chocolate being dripped onto the bombe before getting served.

NP
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on 9 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wonderful food and impeccable and attentive service. Only a 10 minute walk to nearby penguin sanctuary, which my overseas colleague enjoyed immensely.

C
1 review
Dined on 6 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Everything about this experience was perfect
My partner and I have wanted to dine at Donovans for years but have never been lucky enough to score a table before
From the warm welcome on arrival to the bustle of the elegant dining room to the charming and friendly staff and most importantly to the most amazing delicious food - it was a magical night that we will never forget and one that we look forward to revisiting again
If you get the chance dine at Donovans I guarantee that you will not regret it

BM
Melbourne / VIC
27 reviews
Dined on 30 June 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 3

We had a hankering for fish and chips and Donovans has a lovely outlook and a lovely dining room. It also has lovely friendly staff who are very attentive and helpful. Donovans also has a very large and diverse menu which one would have to be very picky to not find anything to suit one's taste. Even down to being careful about any fashionable food issues. It has a formidable wine list at formidable prices. I didn't believe that anywhere in Australia would have fish and chips that are more expensive than Doyle's in Sydney, but they do. One up for Donovan's but not for the customer.
Everything was very good. The scallop entrée was delicious and the scallops were perfectly cooked. The fish in the fish and chips were superb. The chips were delicious but were more like roasted potatoes than chips- and served in a quantity that was far too generous.
I'd recommend this place heartily if you're part of the set that takes their bank manager to lunch or dinner.
But the prices are on the uncomfortable side for food and torture on the wine. For example a bottle of William Fèvre Petit Chabils which sells for around $30 retail max, was closer to $80. If you're in the wine trade pop in and have a look - it's heartening to see that that there is still money in wine. At least here. Go for the view, the staff, the choice, the food, but sadly, not the value.

MK
1 review
Dined on 29 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great place.
Food and atmosphere were excellent.
Explained menu with great knowledge. Will be back again that’s for sure.
Love the lamp!!
5 star ⭐️ rating.
Thank you for a lovely night.
Mark & Kerrie

PL
1 review
Dined on 29 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The staff and service was fantastic, the food magnificent and the overall experience was sensational. My friends were from Sydney and thoroughly enjoyed the lunch.

J
1 review
Dined on 28 June 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

I requested a quiet table which we received with a lovely view. I took my children aged 10 & 13 who were also delighted with the experience. Wine selected was perfect.
The started were my favourite.
A most enjoyable way to celebrate my birthday.

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