The historic Peel Inn, in Nundle, NSW, is a relic from a bygone era but with a contemporary twist.

Story Kirsty McKenzie  Photos Ken Brass

Robert Schofield shakes his head as he surveys the menu at the Peel Inn, the pub he runs in the NSW New England town of Nundle. Smoked or grilled local trout, Angus beef steaks and racks of lamb are headline acts alongside traditional pub staples such as chicken parmies and pie floaters. But it’s the goat masala that provides the twist in the tale and hints at the highly qualified chef who’s in charge of the kitchen. 

“Manish Kumah Sah is Nepalese-born,” Robert says. “Before he came here, he was working for the exclusive One & Only resort in the Maldives, so he’s cooked for celebrities including Gordon Ramsay and David Beckham. Manish has been with us for 4 years and he and his curries are very popular with our customers.”

As Robert observes, the South Asian offerings and occasional Bollywood night at the Peel Inn are a far cry from the catering of his childhood, when his parents ran the pub and even counter meals were unheard of. “There was not much choice,” he says. “Mum rang a bell for lunch and dinner and there was soup for first course. Then there was roast beef, corned beef or steak and kidney pie. Same thing every day.”

Robert has been the Peel’s publican since Melbourne Cup Day 1966. The 80-year-old is not sure if his tenure is a record.

This story excerpt is from Issue #152

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2024