Restaurateur & Owner of OAR Doolin
About Kieran O'Halloran
Kieran O’Halloran – Restaurateur and Owner of OAR Doolin
Kieran O’ Halloran left school at 15 years of age to focus on food. He joined CERT in Galway to begin his studies, however, having worked in kitchens from the age of 11 Kieran found that he was learning nothing new so decided to move to Edinburgh at 16 to study Culinary Arts. Having earned his Culinary Arts Degree Kieran moved to London where he worked front of house assisting the food and beverage manager and growing his skills. There followed a move to Aberdeen in 1992, when Kieran leased his first restaurant (Hobsons) at the age of 19. After a year the property was sold to a national Pizza company and Kieran was approached by Mitchells & Butlers, now one of the largest operators of restaurants, pubs and bars in the UK, to work on a converting a pub in Aberdeen to an Irish bar (O’Neills) which went on to have another 120 open across the UK.
Kieran travelled the world gaining experience and knowledge working, on many occasions free of charge, to learn local cuisines. Mitchells & Butlers came calling again having lost the original authenticity of the O’Neills brand and looking for Kieran to help them rediscover, rethink and recentralise.
In 2011, in the midst of the recession, Kieran made the decision to move back to Ireland to his home county of Clare and this is where Kierans’ Kitchen – now a roaring success having won multiple awards – was born.
However Kieran still had that urge to get back to his original love, discovered during his Culinary Arts Studies in Edinburgh where he welcomed a clientele that included Prince Charles, the Duke of Westminster, Margaret Thatcher amongst others. He had noticed how they loved good food but without the micro portioning that was so prevalent in Fine Dining establishments at that time.
This has now come to fruition at OAR Doolin where Fine Dining is a rustic experience, allowing guests to relax, chat and enjoy themselves. OAR Restaurant does not have a dress code focusing instead on the food and the positive energy of happy guests.
Attention to detail is huge for Kieran. As a lover of fine wines Kieran counts the ‘bane of his life’ as restaurants and hotels that offer fine wines in cheap glasses – simply insulting.
Kierans’ Philosophy on creating a successful business:
- The Right People – Without the right people you will have no business so it is imperative to find and look after the right staff for your business.
- Produce – Sourcing Well. Kieran is a champion for local food producers and seasonal ingredients, which can be experienced at OAR Restaurant.
OAR Restaurant is already attracting favourable reviews and Kieran, along with Head Chef Cezary Sodel, work hard to deliver an authentic fine dining experience with a rustic twist.
Working closely with Head Chef Cezary Sodel, they have brought together decades of experience in the industry to create a menu that features the best of Co Clare produce.
With a very short lead in time Kieran has created a room that reflects the very localised colours and tones of the Clare landscape.
“We wanted to create a space that was evocative of the landscape, so you’ll see that in the restaurant we have used tones of sage green and grey, complemented by crisp white linen. I worked closely with local designer – Ciara McGrath and together we were able to define a space that is a relaxed and ambient space for dining.”
On the walls of this light and airy room you will find artwork by Manus Walsh who happens to be Ciara’s dad, which beautifully describe the landscape and complement this peaceful space. To finish the room Kieran and his team spent many hours searching for the perfect cutlery, linens and glassware.
“You know those small touches are so important, we want to deliver an experience for our guests. The guys in the kitchen work very hard to achieve the level required for these dishes and how we present them to our guests can only improve the experience.”
What better way to conclude your evening than to pop upstairs and spend the night in one of the newly renovated rooms at Oar.
Really enjoyed our meal here. The service was top notch and the food inventive and clean. Would have eaten here twice if we stayed in the area longer. Highly recommended!
Another great find from Tripadvisor. Visited last Wednesday evening with another couple and we weren't disappointed. The decor and ambience was fabulous. The bread was warm and fresh. I had the salad and my friends had scallops to start, we all had steaks which were...More
Lovely hosts, helpful, attentive and friendly.. beautiful food with great attention to flavors and presentation.. restaurant has a lovely warm atmosphere and we will definitely be returning..
What can I say about a restaurant that leaves you speechless. The food was absolutely delicious and amazingly presented. My parents decided to take myself and my fiancé for dinner to celebrate our engagement. The wine was also excellent with a great list. The setting...More
My friend and I went for dinner last night.We had been an excellent dinner there previously.We opted for the three course menu at 35€. I ordered pan-seared scallops and steak which was cooked exactly as I asked and the cheesecake for dessert sooo delicious. The...More
A super dining experience with a varied menu. Food was excellent and the ambience and friendliness of staff crowned our night in The Oar
We dined in Oar on our last night in Doolin and it did not disappoint. The menu is well thought out and there is an extensive wine list. Each course was a delight but the blackcurrant soufflé to finish was the highlight of the meal....More
Had a great meal. Amazing scallop starter with Irish samphire followed by a healthy portion of tasty Salmon. The Rosemary potatoes on the side were so good. The pinnacle was the black currant soufflé and sorbet. So airy, so awesome. My wife lived the cheese...More
Finally got to dine at Oar restaurant. It had eluded me all summer. On a cold wet and windy Summer evening, Oar extended a warm welcome. A cosy ambience with tasteful decor creates a homely feel. Friendly staff move around almost unnoticed until they are...More
Four of us had a meal here on a recent trip to Doolin and we had a first-class meal with fresh local ingredients. The waiting staff were very attentive without being in your face. The owner went from table to table engaging everyone and making...More
Delicious food fresh , cooked to perfection and beautifully presented. Courteous service and elegant ambiance with great views
I went for dinner last night with my friends. I order sola fillet with vegetables, beef carpaccio with fresh sour bread, and for dessert soufle blackurrant. OMG it was very lovely dessert. Everything was presend beautifull,and it was tasty. Staff it was friendly:) It was...More
Five of us ate here yesterday and the food from start to finish was excellent. Love the new decor which creates a lovely warm relaxing experience. But it's all about the food which didn't disappoint, from starters to desserts, it was delicious. Each was carefully...More
Well... where do I start, we loved it all! Very warm welcome from Jeana (i hope i spelt that right!). The place looks great. We are old favourites of the Roadford with Marian & Frank, but we were charmed last night. They have done a...More
A simply delightful meal, great service, our waitress was happy to help with choices. One thing I love in a restaurant is when you can see the care and attention that has gone into every detail.; the room, the table set with beautiful linen and...More
My sister and I stayed at the rooms at The Oar Restaurant last night. Unfortunately we missed the memo and did not reserve a table in advance. Roxy and Ciaran went over and above to squeeze us in despite being fully booked. The food, wine...More
Lovely Room. Others seemed to enjoy their meals. Mine was nothing special. They couldnt make me a suace to go with Pork that didnt have milk in it so they gave me Olive Oil. That was the best they could do. Seriously.
Excellent gourmet restaurant, using all locally sourced ingredients. a bit pricey but elegant. The service is warm and welcoming. The food is delicious.
We ate here last week and I would definitely recommend it. The decor, ambiance and staff are all good but the food is exceptional. My friends had the duck and I had steak-perfect. It's also good value for money.Very nicely presented too.
A welcoming, relaxed atmosphere, friendly service and food that you will not be able to beat, no matter where you eat in Ireland. Understandable why Oar has just been named best new restaurant in Ireland. The best of Local Irish Produce, served up by what...More
We just dined here last Sunday and it was such a perfect surprise. I wonder why we went there for the first time just last Sunday and not earlier, like in Summer. We loved the place, the romantic and elegant atmosphere. We immediately felt welcome...by the lovely owner of the restaurant and had a memorable, top notch dinner. The Raviolo as a starter was stunning. The pasta was so perfectly cooked with a delectable filling and a broth to die for. Then we had a gorgeous rib eye and goose that we loved. Even the vegetables were amazing. And for dessert we got an apple tart which concluded a dinner we will always remember. This place is truly a hidden gem in Clare. Every single detail catches your eye and contributes to give you an experience that will be very difficult to live somewhere else. More
What a delight it was to dine in oar!! The food is amazing. Such a well thought out menu and something for everyone’s palate. Kieran is a fabulous host and the food really is some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Thanks Kieran for a...More
We stayed at the Oar for 3 nights 30/7/20 until 2/8/20. Fantastic location and very comfortable stay. The best thing about the Oar is the restaurant! We ate there for 3 nights in a row as it was outstanding food, beautifully presented and great atmosphere....More
Myself and Fiancé enjoyed an absolutely outstanding meal in The Oar on July 17th. A big thank to Kieran for fitting us in on short notice having popped our heads in the night before on the reccomendations of our hotel. Although fully booked (for the...More
Don't think - just book. A delicious meal from start to finish coupled with warm service. I want to see this restaurant go all the way to the top. Thank you for a splendid evening
Excellent service from the start by both staff members, felt very welcome. Attention to detail was impressive and were assisted in choosing the perfect light tasting craft beer to accompany our meal. My steak was excellent, cooked exactly how I like it and my knife...More
We stayed in the guesthouse associated with this Restaurant. Accommodation functional- as was the welcome. €80 room only, noticed several places of similar standard afterwards which including full breakfast for same rate. Also it’s a 10 walk into the village, certainly not in the centre...More
Beautiful restaurant, set in the heart of Doolin. A really calming and relaxed atmosphere upon arrival and throughout. The staff are great, super helpful, attentive and happy. The food here is second to none. Tastes, flavor combinations, presentation, all top notch. The attention to detail...More
Anniversary meal on our staycation in OAR. Well on par with the best establishments in Ireland. Beautiful dinning room. Food was fantastic and beautifully presented. Local produce. Kieth was a fountain of knowledge and the wine was Spot on! Would have no hesitation in recommending...More
We have lived in Clare for over 10 years and Covid has allowed us to visit several places on our wish list. The Oar was the first one. Centrally located in Doolin, with comfortable accommodation, we took the dog (why are there not more dog...More
we’ve found the best restaurant in County Clare - it‘s the Oar in Doolin, run by Kieran and his team. We had such a wonderful time there yesterday evening and just had to spread the word. Service is top notch and genuinely friendly. The dining...More
Oar, Doolin, Co Clare, Ireland Paid our first trip to the newly opened Oar in Doolin. This is a restaurant, not a pub. It is a super dining room, bright, clean and modern. Obviously created by someone with an eye for detail. Relaxing and comfortable....More
Our first time and certainly not our last. I would highly recommend Oar restaurant. The food was exceptional. Lovely atmosphere with friendly, professional staff. Good value for money considering the quality. If in Doolin it's a must for dinner.
I have traveled world wide and I live in a part of the world where seafood is plenty . I have had the pleasure of eating in beautiful places , with respected chefs. The scallops and warm salad I had at Oar last night has...More
Rarely have we gone to a restaurant where we enjoyed our time so much we truly wanted to stay all night-- the Oar and the staff went over and beyond what we could have asked for in a dining experience! Roxie welcomed us with her...beautiful smile and winsome service and from that moment on, we were hooked! The menu exceeded our expectations as each course was, in one word, extraordinary! Kieran is SUCH a delight and walked us through how the menu was prepared as well as the wine selection which was amazing. My husband had the summer salad and I had the Doolin crab for our starters. Truly we have never had such a delicious summer salad that was so fresh and delicious! The crab was perfect in presentation as well as taste...with spices that you must try yourself! We then had the Salmon and the Lamb...to say it was the best I have ever had is not an exaggeration! If this review could be 4D so you could see and smell them both, you would truly be amazed. We finished with the dark chocolate truffle cake and the vanilla panacotta and Roxie made the most marvelous Spanish coffees! Incredible! My husband and I have been to Michelin star restaurants all over the world, but this one is exceeds them all in both service, food and ambience! Thank you to Kieran and Roxie! We will shout from the rooftops for folks to try your beautiful restaurant! We will definitely be back with as many friends as we can bring:) Bless you and thank you for a most remarkable evening! More
I visited with my mother to celebrate her birthday and it was a great experience. The food is EXCELLENT and the staff is very attentive and friendly. I would definitely eat here again!
The owner has committed to providing an alternative to the pub food available elsewhere in Doolin. Good selection of reasonably priced wine compliments a menu that provides flavors to the local meat and fish that really bring the protein alive.
Stumbled across this little beauty of a restaurant last weekend on a few days away. Selection of food on the menu, presentation, flavors & tastes were excellent. Loved the atmosphere & the staff could not have been more helpful. Best of luck to the owner,...More
Dinner in Oar last weekend was everything I look for in a meal and more. Portions were plenty big, the ingredients were fresh and delicious and the dishes showed a creativity and level of skill that is often hard to find. Particular mention to the...More