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.
Pearse, at Blackberry BnB in Doolin where we are staying, recommended Oar, and we went there this evening. The food was spectacular—exceeding that offered at many of the superb restaurants we’ve eaten at in New York City. We had the salmon appetizer, Dover sole, scallops,...More
Really lovely delicious 5 star food in a charming, stylish and beautiful setting. Much attention has been paid to details, offering a top-notch dining experience. This was one of the highest quality meals I've had anywhere in the world. In fact, we were so taken...More
I was recommended to visit Oar by friends and last month we made the trip from Dublin and it was so worth it. The staff were friendly but professional with a great local knowledge of the food, produce and wines. The restaurant setting is simplistic...More
We visited OAR as a group of friends on a night out and we had a fabulous experience. We were greeted at the door by the charismatic Kieran who gave us a great welcome and took great care in taking us to our table and...More
Conveniently situated in the village of Doolin, an easy walk from Hotel Doolin. This attractively appointed restaurant with letting rooms ticks virtually all the boxes. We had a memorable meal there last week, with outstanding beef carpaccio, scallops, Dover sole, etc., on offer. The servings...More
We had the absolute pleasure of dining at Oar last Thursday. The food was second to none. Everyone at our table felt they had just experienced a culinary delight from start to finish it was perfection. Our excellent host Kieran went above and beyond to...make our dining experience exceptional, from wine selection to desert wines and even a lift home he was the ultimate host. Thank you for an excellent night !! Bravo ! More
We visited Oar on a recommendation, we were told it was worth a visit since we were in the area. Expecting a "nice" meal, we booked, organised a Taxi and arrived outside what looked like a private house. We entered and were shown into a...More
A Fantastic dining experience from start to finish. We stayed in the accommodation for two nights and ate in the restaurant one of the evenings. We availed of the fixed priced menu for guests of the BnB and added in a bottle of stunning white...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
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
We stayed in the OAR Restaurant and Rooms while staying in Doolin and it was a delightful experience. It's in a great location as it has the OAR restaurant right downstairs and is walking distance from pubs such as McDermott's and McGann's. The rooms are...More
Make no mistake despite my cheesy review title The Oar is a place of seriously excellent food. They describe it as rustic fine dining but I would say more like refined fine dining. The Chefs clearly understand flavour, flavour combinations coupled with first class technique....More
Had the early bird menu which was 28 euros I think.Very tasty with lovely staff making it a great night.
Doolin is great place to visit but like a lot of tourist locations it has its fair share of over priced and over rated restaurants / cafes. Happily we found The Oar and it’s far and away the best paper to eat in the locality....More
We stayed as part of a visit to the West Coast and Aran Islands and although we had only booked in 2 people initially, a friend of mine joined us at short notice after she had to put her dog to sleep only a few...says earlier. When I phoned Mieran the day before to arrange for an extra bed, he was so wonderful and welcoming and booked us into the apartment with 2 bedrooms. At arrival we were greeted and made felt welcome from the start. The room was spotless, beautifully decorated and so cosy. The bed was one of the comfiest I ever slept in. Unfortunately the restaurant was booked out for 3 weeks upon our arrival, but Kieran gave us so many lovely recommendations where to dine in Doolin. The whole stay was a wonderful experience and we will surely be back and make sure that we also make a booking in the restaurant then. We left Doolin this morning well rested and happy. Thank you for bring such a wonderful and welcoming host. We can not praise your hospitality and friendliness enough. Best wishes and see you soon Clodagh, Julie and Yvonne More
Stayed in the rooms at the restaurant for three nights with friends We decided to eat in the restaurant on the Saturday night and it was absolutely fantastic Lovely room and great ambience. The group had 3 courses and one was better than the next...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
We celebrated our second wedding anniversary with the dream-team at Oar... a fresh and exciting new venture in beautiful Doolin. These guys devised and served our wedding meal so we couldnt wait to see/taste what awaited us. Kieran has created something so special... from the...More
A lovely location and lovely staff welcomes you to a great experience. We had soup and scallops for starter and ribeye and risotto for main - all 4 were just brilliant. Creative, balanced and super tasty. Then came the cheesecake for desert - a perfect...More
I recently visited Oar Restaurant with my husband and two other couples. We all thoroughly enjoyed our evening. The food was delicious and great value. Will definitely visit again.
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
A great meal, good service, interesting owner of this new restaurant in Doolin. One of my companions at our meal who has traveled a lot internationally found his steak to be as good as he has ever had. My lamb chop was very good.
I wanted to go somewhere nice for my 40th dinner and I am so happy we chose Oar. It was outstanding. The food was excellent, cooked to perfection, the decòr is so relaxing,a beautiful calm, happy atmosphere where the owner Kieran effortlessly floats from table...More
We ate tonight for the first time in Oar and we so highly recommend it. From the moment we booked with Kieran this place felt special. Oar is a small but stylish fine dining restaurant in Doolin where u feel you are on a special...night out from the time you arrive. The ambience is relaxed and stylish, the food we had between us the pate, fish 🐟 starters followed by duck, halibut & Pouilly Fume - all served and tasting superb. Kieran and his team are warm, friendly but yet you can relax as a couple and enjoy every moment. If you want one good meal in Doolin treat yourself and go to Oar. We will be back 💚 More
We ate here in August. We had the beef Carpaccio, ham hock terraine, Duck, fish special & shared the cheese board. Food was locally source. Fine dining with great flavours but not over complicated. Just the right seasoning too. We ordered the Douro wine from...More
I cannot rate the Oar restaurant & rooms highly enough! We stayed 2 nights & were made so welcome from the minute we arrived. The accommodation was pet friendly, extremely clean & so comfortable. The quality & service of food was outstanding & way beyond...More
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
Myself and my wife visited this restaurant in October. The food was fantastic, the service was fantastic. We would certainly recommend this restaurant to anyone travelling through Doolin.
We decided to treat ourselves and try Oar which has replaced the former Roadford House. From the moment you walk in you sense you are in for something special. The food from starter to dessert was excellent and unusual- I had never tried a homemade...More
Hands down, this restaurant served the best cod I’ve ever had! The food at Oar Restaurant is truly exceptional, and I was only delighted to wine & dine here for our last night in Doolin. The scallops starter was beautiful, each piece succulent with plenty...More
An amazing culinary experience from start to finish. If in Doolin and want amazing irish food using locally sourced ingredients...this is the place to go....and really something special.
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.
Such a beautiful restaurant with a wonderful welcome and amazing food that satisfies and treats your taste buds like nothing else. The staff, the ambience, the food, the welcome and your comfort is their priority at OAR and you are very well taken care of...More
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
This is a big step up from the pub food available in the rest of Doolin. The chef has some creative adventurous dishes, but a little overdone for our pallets The steak was excellent, but you really need Gorgonzola sauce?The vegetarian in our group had...More
We discovered this place last year while on a road trip to the Irish Open Golf tournament. We had a wonderful meal on that occasion, so much so, we decided to return in July this year. After being in lockdown for so many weeks, we...More
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
I had a staycation in Doolin last august with my daughter. We both love our food & managed to get a booking in Oar. It didn’t disappoint. The food & drinks were really good. What made our night even more, was the service. It’s not...often you get great food & service together. The manager Kieran was fantastic. He recommended drinks to us & checked in on us that we were ok through out the evening. He also made sure we got home ok. I was so impressed with Doolin & the great community spirit there. We stayed in Sheedy’s. They had recommended Oar to us for dinner. It’s great to see local businesses support each other. True Irish hospitality!! I’m looking forward to getting back to Doolin this summer & hopefully will have the joy of experiencing both places again. Well done to all involved 🙂I believe congratulations are in order for a recent award received 👏🏻 More