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Return of The Prince. St Kilda’s Prince Dining Room Opens for Business.

January 16, 2019 Dining No Comments

St Kilda icon The Prince Hotel has seen a changing of the guard with the opening of its new restaurant, Prince Dining Room.

A personal project of Melbourne entrepreneur and businessman Gerry Ryan and his son Andrew, the multi-million dollar hospitality transformation by Melbourne architecture firm IF Architecture is Phase Two of a three stage redevelopment of The Prince Hotel. Approachable and unpretentious in nature, Prince Dining Room’s food and hospitality offer reinforces the property’s refreshing new direction.

Andrew Ryan, Managing Director comments:
“It has been a significant undertaking, re-creating and opening the space. We knew it needed to feel different, to feel new, but we were also mindful that we needed to respect the soul and architectural integrity of the space we love,” said Ryan.

“We’re excited by what it will bring to The Prince Hotel – a beautifully curated space to enjoy great food and beverage. The menu is not what we have traditionally seen in Melbourne and inparticular St. Kilda. We’ve worked hard in recruiting an innovative team to bring Prince Dining Room to life.” He said.


Led by Executive Chef Dan Hawkins (Stokehouse, Circa and Longrain) and Head Chef Dan Cooper (Circa and Garden State Hotel), the menu is designed to share and inspired by flavours and spices from the Mediterranean rim.

Humble vegetable and side dishes are heroed in equal measure to main plates, resulting in a light contemporary fare featuring the freshest seasonal ingredients.

Sourced from local markets, the St Kilda Veg Out garden and a personally curated network of regional growers, producers and fishermen, each ingredient is selected with a predetermined purpose in mind, a seasonal value and a local significance.

“While working on the food concept for Prince Dining Room we considered global food trends, but more importantly, global food issues,” Hawkins said.

“The deeper we went, the more defined our food ethos became. We now work within a simple triangle LOCAL- SUSTAINABLE-ETHICAL as the foundation of our food ethos. When deciding on a potential product for a particular dish, we always refer back to this triangle.”

Using hyper seasonal ingredients and working at the peak of the seasons, Hawkins comments; “We want the produce to shine without it being overwhelmed by too many add-ons. At Prince Dining Room our food celebrates great farmers, growers and producers.”

The pair have also drawn inspiration from global cooking techniques, placing a particular emphasis on cooking with fire.

“Fire causes changes in flavour, texture and appearance, to provide a unique final product that cannot be replicated by other means,” said Hawkins.

Prince Dining Room is a more humble offer than past restaurants at The Prince Hotel. The shift to a more relaxed dining approach and emphasising the use of fire in the kitchen is a dramatic change in food style for the venue.

Much like the change in menu direction, the physical change to the space has been dramatic (and necessary) to provide Prince Dining Room with its own voice – one that embraces a new era of dining.


Inspired by the glamour and grime of St Kilda and its eclectic history, Iva Foschia of IF Architecture has created a light, bright space filled with custom furniture. The redesign respects both the Art Deco architecture of the building and the character of the local areawithout being too nostalgic of venue’s past.

“Our aim with Prince Dining Room was to usethe beautiful foundation of the building to conceive something relevant to our current time. We wanted to create a comfortable, approachable space that is welcoming toeveryone.” Foschia said.

Foschia says, “We have chosen deliberate ‘clashes’ and provocative forms to reflect a venue that knows itselfand is comfortable with its quirky direction”.

Prince Dining Room is open 7 days a week serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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