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.
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
If you are looking for something special This is a must when visiting doolin. Something other than pub grub. The atmosphere is fab and the food first class. The dining room is well spaced out without being too obvious. The raspberry soufflé is divine.
My friends and I visited this hidden gem a few weeks ago, This dining experience exceeded all previous . The flavours and local produce were amazing . It is a menu that fully satisfied . The attention to detail in the preparation and presentation of...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
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
Excellent gourmet restaurant, using all locally sourced ingredients. a bit pricey but elegant. The service is warm and welcoming. The food is delicious.
Cosy little place with excellent food and friendly attentive staff, well worth a visit and not overpriced, i found the dining space a little cramped but overall a very pleasant place to spend an evening
Amazing Loved this place so much last year that we just had to return. The food here is amazing. From start to finish it just got better. Have to say i would just travel for the souffle. To die for. Love the decor and the...More
Staff, service, owner, food, chef et al were outstanding. Yes you will pay a little more for a meal here but it is worth it. If you like food, you will love this place.
We visited in June 2019. In a nutshell it was amazing. Everything...the staff, the decor, the atmosphere, the food and the choices...perfect. We cleared our plates even though we were full. It was too good to leave any behind. Just go!
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
Great restaurant in a lovely location with wonderful food and wines, delivered with excellent service. The menu had been very well thought out and the wines thoughtfully selected to accompany the food. Would happily eat there again and take other friends and family. Highly recommended.
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
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
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
I had the chance to visit Oar recently and I was so pleasently suprised to find a restaurant like this in Doolin. Unlike any other of the restaurants in the area I loved the the beautiful decor and friendly atmosphere. However it was the food...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
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
Had a delicious dinner at Oar recently. From the service, ambience, food and wine, we couldn’t fault it! Food portions are the perfect size. Wouldn’t normally choose a dessert but so glad I did as it was well worth it! We also stayed in their...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 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
Second time here, even better than the first! Loved every mouthful - excellent food, lovely relaxed atmosphere and a warm welcome from Kieran and his staff...you will not be disappointed.
We stayed in the oar restaurant rooms from the 12 to the 15 june 2019. We had originally planned to stay only 2 nights, but because of the location and also the friendliness of the staff, we decided to stay an extra night. The rooms...More
The first experience last year was so unforgettable, I had to return. Again I was not disappointed. Amazing from start to finish. Even the warm in house sourdough bread brought me joy. Wine selection on point and service was also excellent. All local produce with...More
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 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
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 visited here recently. While the decor and service was great, it really wasn't for us. The food was mediocre at best and it was so overpriced for what was offered. Won't be visiting again.
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
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
This is our 3rd visit, and it’s a pleasure every time. Style with substance, from the warm welcome to the the fantastic flavours. We are usually cheese people but pictures of deserts had me tempted. My fella had the special tiramisu which was delicious and...More
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!
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
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
Room & Location Arriving to Doolin from Lisdoonvarna, you take a right at McDermott’s Pub. The restaurant is then to your right. The room has recently been redecorated. I liked the colors, the soft furnishings. The feel is soft, comfortable, elegant. Lighting is low, intimate....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!
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
I came for dinner at Oar with a group of friends recently and I'll say that I cannot stop thinking about the place. Fantastic from start to finish. The restaurant is beautifully decorated. It's fresh, tasteful and clever. The staff are friendly, delightful and look...More