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.
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
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.
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
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 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
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!
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
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
What a delight it was to dine in oar!! The food is amazing. Such a well thought out menu and something for everyone’s palate. Kieran is a fabulous host and the food really is some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Thanks Kieran for a...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
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
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
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
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
Iontach ar fad. Oíoche speisialta. Oar is truly an amazing place. Kieran and his team were outstanding.very different and top class.
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
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
Amazing value, amazing food, amazing service in a beautifully styled restaurant. But most amazingly the Cheescake cream dessert off the main menu. Worth a visit in lovely surroundings and a real treat
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
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
OAR restaurant and accomadation has WOWED us again. We were treated to such a VIP level of service, care and attention and the most beautifully cooked and presented locally sourced food that is such a wonderful combination of flavour and freshness and presentation, A pure...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
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
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
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 wonderful experience at Oar restaurant. The service were fabulous and the place was very relaxed. We had starters, main courses and desert, which were all delicious and beautifully presented. Undoublty the best meal we've had in a long time!
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 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
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 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
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
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
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