About Us

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

YesChef Review

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.
~ YesChef.ie

  •   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.

    thumb Michael C
    7/23/2020

      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.

    thumb Annette B
    7/24/2020

      This is IMHO a top class restaurant. We had been in its predecessor years back and it was excellent too. However, there is a new broom and a new brush to make Oar Restaurant a very memorable dining experience. The decor is so peaceful and...restful. You can just sink into those chairs and let yourself be looked after for the evening. I had beef carpaccio for starters and my husband had scallops. I had salmon and scallops for main and my husband had lamb. I had caramel parfait for dessert. Everything was cooked and presented to perfection. We couldn't find fault with anything. The owner had a little chat with us before leaving and we liked this. Makes one proud to be Irish when one visits an establishment of this high quality. More

    thumb DublinMaire
    3/13/2021

      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

    thumb 979barryc
    6/15/2019
  •   Excellent gourmet restaurant, using all locally sourced ingredients. a bit pricey but elegant. The service is warm and welcoming. The food is delicious.

    thumb Rosanne M
    9/05/2019

      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

    thumb CMBernadette
    5/01/2019

      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

    thumb pmcpirelandCoLouth
    8/03/2020

      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

    thumb alison b
    8/19/2020
  •   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

    thumb unlikelyadventurer
    9/13/2020

      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

    thumb kathleenbr0snan
    7/10/2020

      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

    thumb Soniamcd10
    6/12/2019

      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

    thumb annatX3600OZ
    6/27/2019
  •   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!

    thumb Elizabeth G
    7/02/2019

      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

    thumb th602
    8/15/2020

      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

    thumb DominicM299
    7/25/2020

      Went with my wife and our vegetarian friend, all our meals were perfectly prepared and very tasty. Staff were friendly and efficient. Fantastic!

    thumb Kiwi_Prawn
    8/15/2019
  •   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.

    thumb Departure12545075234
    6/13/2019

      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

    thumb annatX3600OZ
    7/12/2020

      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

    thumb Maeveni
    8/19/2019

      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!

    thumb Maureen-Mayo
    9/29/2020
  •   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

    thumb sarbarry
    5/31/2019

      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

    thumb NirinaXX
    7/27/2020

      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!

    thumb Daniel B
    6/08/2019

      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

    thumb Anna T
    6/27/2019
  •   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

    thumb m402015
    9/14/2020

      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

    thumb Shane_Nicci
    5/01/2019

      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

    thumb William O
    10/07/2019

      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

    thumb AuntyKathleen1
    9/05/2019
  •   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

    thumb NailtechClare
    9/03/2019

      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

    thumb Thea156
    10/10/2019

      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

    thumb wildatlanticfoodie
    8/11/2019

      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..

    thumb MunsterBlondie
    7/02/2020
  •   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

    thumb thetaMayo
    6/30/2019

      I visited oar restaurant in Doolin, Co. Clare on 25th May with friends for dinner, and to say that i was surprised and impressed in equal measure is a massive understatement. Whilst the setting, decor, atmosphere, staff, wine list, attention to detail & quality of...More

    thumb fergal b
    5/29/2019

      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

    thumb 143stevef
    7/05/2020

      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

    thumb JaneM4591
    4/23/2019
  •   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

    thumb H8061CFanap
    8/27/2020

      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.

    thumb Escape742641
    4/13/2019

      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

    thumb dinglecailin1
    9/16/2020

      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

    thumb 375maeve
    4/15/2019

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