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 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
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
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
First time going to Oar and it definitely won't be the last! We had scallops for starters and they were beautiful! I got steak for my main and my girlfriend got the pork, Both were cooked to perfection and the plate layout was was very...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.
To say this was an unexpected delight is an understatement. Top quality food and service from beginning to end. Very chilled atmosphere with local art hanging on the walls. A hidden gem and one not to be missed. Will be back for sure.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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 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
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
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
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!
We were able to walk to Oar from our B&B. A warm greeting welcomed us. This is definitely not a pub but a higher end restaurant. After ordering a bottle of wine to share, we all decided to order from a fixed price menu of...More
This restaurant is amazing, from the moment you arrive the experience is perfect, beautiful venue and wonderful friendly staff. The food was perfect, the best restaurant I have been to in a long time.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
Had the early bird menu which was 28 euros I think.Very tasty with lovely staff making it a great night.
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