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 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 view from the outside is sparse but very neat and welcoming. Inside follows the same path - gray walls, loads of votives, fresh flowers and a welcoming staff. They had a limited selection of spirits, but the Laphroig was a perfect beginning for my...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
So delighted to have discovered this fabulous restaurant in Doolin, beautifully decorated and lovely atmosphere as soon as you walk through the doors! And the food is to die for! They do a fabulous midweek offer where you get three courses for €40 unbelievable for...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
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
I can’t adequately describe how good the food was you really need to taste it!!! Every single bites of our meals from starter to main course and dessert was delicious and well presented. This is an exceptional restaurant, not fussy, a homely feel, yet very...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
Can highly recommend Oar for that cosy fine dining experience. The food, atmosphere and staff were all superb. Try it out...you won’t be disappointed!
Despite the fact that they had a large group last night, my husband, my daughter and I had a fabulous dinner last night at this cozy new spot. The appetizers of tomato basil soup and goat cheese with beets were great starters and the cod,...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
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
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
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
Went with my wife and our vegetarian friend, all our meals were perfectly prepared and very tasty. Staff were friendly and efficient. Fantastic!
I ate here with my partner just over a week ago. I can't fault the food or the service. I had the summer salad to start which was beautiful - my partner had the scallops. I had the gnocchi for main and even though I...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
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 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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
We were lucky enough to stay at the rooms above Oar restaurant and so we came upon the restaurant this way. However, if you’re anywhere nearby - Doolin, Lahinch, Cliffs of Moher or Ennis, it’s worth the trip. It’s really world class - food, wine...More
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
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
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
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
Iontach ar fad. Oíoche speisialta. Oar is truly an amazing place. Kieran and his team were outstanding.very different and top class.
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
We were greeted by a lovely young waitress, and this reception set the tone for the evening. As Oar Restaurant came highly recommended, we couldn't wait for the first course to be served. I had the ravioli which was delightfully filled with butternut squash and...More
We had a truly divine dining experience at Oar, the service was impeccable and the food expertly prepared and presented. There is an extensive wine list and a small but perfect list of craft beers. To start I had a mouthwateringly good prawn and crab...More
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
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
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