It’s a handsome café by morning, it’s a hot restaurant from lunch and it’s a top-drawer bakery that turns out excellent bread and viennoiserie twice daily.

Welcome to Antara 128: Exhibition Street’s polished new all-rounder.

Take the people who brought you AruSunda and Parcs, add the inaugural head chef from Gimlet, give them carte blanche on a prime Exhibition Street site and what do you get? Why, you get Antara 128: a gleaming all-day restaurant replete with its very own in-built bakery. It’s the latest opening from The Windsor Group, and it’s one heck of a breakfast-lunch-and-dinner operation.

Food kicks off from 7.30am with pastries courtesy of head baker Didiet Radityawan and a breakfast menu that’s going to take some topping. The omelette, for example, comes laden with smoked rainbow trout, mint pea salsa, sorrel and mascarpone. There’s bready things galore, including toast smothered with braised Ramarro Farm spring greens, fermented chilli, toum and broad beans, with the option of fine Spanish anchovies.

Lunch and dinner come by way of Allan Doert-Eccles. Unlike Southeast Asian sister venues Aru and Sunda, the menu here anchors itself somewhere closer to Europe, as you might expect from a chef with time at Gimlet and Embla under his belt. Wherever their inspiration, the ideas are just as compelling: spelt-flour conchiglioni (aka fancy shell pasta) laden with salted duck, spring vegetables, roasted yeast and mushroom broth making for fine lunching, and beetroot-glazed short-rib with pickled radish taking you through till close. It’s food that walks the line between comfort and razzle-dazzle with pleasing confidence.

The debonair fit-out, courtesy of Kerstin Thompson Architecture, is equally considered. Unfinished concrete and rich leather bring the accents, while bronze fluted glass and Victorian ash amplify the drama. It’s a mood board you might recognise from sister venue Aru.

And then there’s the bread. Celebrated baker Michael James has put a baking program into place that’s unique in the CBD: the Antara bread crew bakes twice a day, once in the morning and again in the mid-afternoon, meaning that if you pop in for a loaf to take home after work, it’ll be fresh as can be.

With this commitment to all-day service, Antara is a big win for the city and a 360 approach to dining we could happily get used to.

Antara 128, 128 Exhibition St, Melbourne,

By Frank Sweet