My partner and I were amongst a group of 30 people from Darwin and Katherine who had travelled to Emerald Springs for a social event last weekend. It was well placed, being roughly halfway between the towns. We had a formal dining evening and I was amazed at the effort the staff went to to prepare the tables - it would have done a wedding banquet proud. Our dinner was a flat rate price and consisted of four courses each introduced by the owner, Dallas, who was clearly proud of every one - and justifiably too.
Bear in mind, I am talking about a formal dining experience. I did however see some of the 'pub meals' and i would have been well satisfied with them as well, and I'm told the eggs Benedict for breakfast are excellent.
Accommodation was basic, clean and affordable at $65 for the two of us consisting of a double bed, en-suite and cupboard. I recommend you leave the cat at home as there was little room to swing it.
The roadhouse recently won 'Best Overall Regional Hotel', 'Best Casual/Family Dining' and 'Outstanding Hotel Community Service & Achievement' in the annual Northern Territory section of the Australian Hotel Awards announced in May 2013. Not a bad effort.
I've been in the NT for over forty years and my only observation would be that roadhouses as we once knew them are changing!